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

Q: My ex is looking for divorce and time sharing after being absent for 4 years from our children’s lives. How do I contest

We were married in Dec 2012, he moved out in June 2016 and we saw him one time in June 2016 after that. He moved out and became an absent parent after DCF opened a case against him for substance use and the case was closed after he continued to refuse to take a drug test. And being absent until Dec 2016. He was again Absent until Oct 2017 and went absent again in the end of Dec 2017. We saw him twice in 2019 and he has been absent since. The state sued him for child support in May 2021 and child support comes out of his paycheck automatically now. Though at the child support hearing he asked about having visitation with our children and was told he needed to go to the courthouse and file separately for that and I didn’t hear from him again. Then he sent divorce papers in the middle of sept 2023 and is looking for parental responsibility and time sharing. How do I contest him having responsibility and time sharing due to his continuous absence and our children not knowing who he is.

1 Lawyer Answer
Rand Scott Lieber
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You need to answer his petition for divorce and explain everything that has happened over the past several years. The court will order timesharing based on what is in the best interests of the children. It sounds like you can demonstrate that the father has not been involved in the lives of the children and has a substance abuse problem. Speak with a local family lawyer for more specific advice.

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