Ormond Beach, FL asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Florida

Q: ex parte to return with child to tn from fl. Not official been served or notified. Would they show mid of night to get ?

the mother, my fiancé and I live in FL for 4 months now. The daughters father who has not seen her in over 2 yrs filed several motions and apparently already has an order for us to return to tn and give him child. Are cops going to show up at my door? Help. No extra money. Scared to death. She is 12 and does not want to go there

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: I am assuming from your question that there is a custody order that was either issued by a Tennessee court or was registered with Tennessee as a foreign judgment. I am assuming that the custody order gives the father certain visitation rights.

When you moved from Tennessee to Florida, you should have gotten an order permitting you to relocate to another state. Typically, when one parent moves outside of the jurisdiction where both parents have been residing with the child, the possession orders are modified and the moving parent becomes obligated to pay for the increased cost of the other parent exercising his visitation rights. This often means the moving parent is buying and paying for plane tickets once a month and for holidays.

It is in your favor that, before moving, the father had not seen your daughter in 2 years. If this was voluntary on the father's part, it would go a long way toward helping you in the custody court. On the other hand, if he hasn't seen her in two years, you're probably not going to be able to show that he poses an imminent danger to her physical or emotional well-being. But it is not in your favor if you moved without the father's consent or a court order authorizing you to change your daughter's residence to another state. It would be considerably worse if you did not even tell her father that you were moving and did not provide your new address to him.

Since you've only been in Florida for 4 months, Tennessee likely still has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over matters pertaining to your daughter under the Parental Kidnapping Protection Act and Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. You need to retain a Tennessee family lawyer in or near the county where the father has already filed proceedings to help you ASAP.

Rand Scott Lieber agrees with this answer

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