Fisher Island Father Jailed for Contempt in Miami-Dade After He Allows His 16-Year-Old Son to Marry

A Fisher Island man was recently ordered to serve 180 days in jail after he reportedly allowed his 16-year-old son to marry the 18-year-old daughter of his housekeeper in an effort to remove the child from family court oversight. The 65-year-old father was charged with contempt of court and placed in the Miami-Dade Jail for allegedly taking his teenage son to Las Vegas the day after he turned 16 and providing him with consent to marry. The father allegedly did so after a Miami-Dade judge instructed the wealthy businessman to immediately place the child in a Utah boarding school for troubled teens. The boy was ordered to attend the school in November 2010 at the request of his father’s former wife. The teen’s mother, who was awarded joint custody of the boy when the couple split, reportedly asked the family court to place her son in the Utah school on the advice of an educational expert after he was arrested for striking a police officer.

Because the teen is now emancipated, the family court no longer has jurisdiction over him. Instead, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stanford Blake quizzed the father regarding the unexpected wedding. According to a hearing transcript, the boy was living in his father’s penthouse on Fisher Island immediately following the wedding. Meanwhile, the teen’s bride remained in Miami. Because the State of Nevada only requires the signature of one parent when a minor seeks to marry, the man reportedly allowed the boy to marry without his former spouse’s knowledge or consent.

At the father’s contempt hearing, his attorney told the court the Utah school declined to accept the boy due to his parents’ ongoing divorce. Despite the school’s rejection of the teen, Judge John Schlesinger stated the marriage was an obvious attempt to thwart the court’s order and keep the boy out of the school. Judge Schlesinger also said the man’s conduct was unacceptable and a clear example of indirect contempt of court. He is reportedly appealing his case to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.

Many Florida parents find themselves in the midst of a less than amicable divorce every year. Understandably, the host of emotions that are normally associated with the end of a marriage can be overwhelming. If you are considering divorce, you need a dedicated Florida family law attorney to help you protect your interests and those of your children.

Sandy T. Fox, an experienced Miami-Dade divorce lawyer, focuses his practice exclusively on family law matters. Mr. Fox can explain your rights and help you file your divorce case. He is also available to answer any questions you may have regarding child support, paternity, alimony, adoption, and child custody matters. If you need assistance with a family law matter in South Florida, call attorney Sandy T. Fox toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact him through his website.

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Parenting Coordination Increasingly Used Following Florida Divorces, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 6, 2012
Military Child Custody Law Passes U.S. House, Moves on to Senate, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, June 28, 2012
Additional Resources:

Fisher Island man jailed for marrying off teen son during divorce proceedings, by David Ovalle, Miami Herald