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Florida Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Will a petition to establish paternity conflict with an application for child support?

I applied for child support about 2 weeks ago, and they just sent me a letter saying they opened an administrative case. I’m pretty sure that my ex boyfriend received this as well, b/c I just checked the clerk of court website & I see that he has filed a petition to establish paternity (filed... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Feb 25, 2020

The DOR case (administrative) and the Paternity case should be consolidated by the court. There is no reason for a delay as you are entitled to child support regardless of his filing.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Florida on
Q: Can I charge the father of my grandchild rent as I will be housing his child after abandoning my daughter

My daughter is currently finishing her degree and has not worked so my husband and I will be helping her raise the child

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Feb 24, 2020

You can charge him rent if he is living in your house but you say he has abandoned the mother. If that is the case then the mother needs to pursue child support from the father, which she can share with you for expenses.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Is there any reason or benefit in an unmarried mother filing a petition to establish paternity?

My daughter has a 5 yoa son with her ex boyfriend. He has not seen the child in almost 2 years. We just got word from one of his family members that he’s going to be filing a petition to establish his paternity. My daughter for some reason wants to file first so she can be the first to say what... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Feb 24, 2020

There is no advantage to filing first. The court is going to do what is in the best interest of the child regardless. Until anyone files mom has 100% rights over the child.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: I currently live in FL and am wanting to change my daughter's last name (minor) to my own, her father is deceased.
Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Feb 24, 2020

It should not be a problem as long as you can prove the father's death, perhaps with a death certificate. Just file a Petition for Name Change where you live.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Florida on
Q: Can a pro se respondent appoint a non-lawyer to speak on their behalf in Florida?

My fiancé is a pro se respondent in a child custody case petitioned by an abusive ex-boyfriend. Given the fact that she has an injunction against him for DV, does she have to face him, and his equally intimidating witnesses, alone in the courtroom, or can she appoint a non-lawyer (namely myself)... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 23, 2020

No; those activities would constitute the unauthorized practice of law. It's a crime.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: How much does it cost to file an emergency child custodian form, and do I need to know my estranged spouse's address?

My wife & I have recently separated, and are trying to handle things amicably. She has left Hillsborough County FL to live with her boyfriend in Alabama. We've agreed to having my son spend spring break up there with her. However, she won't tell me her address because she's "worried I'll serve her... Read more »

RoseMarie Feller
RoseMarie Feller answered on Feb 20, 2020

First and foremost, you DO NOT want to send your son to Alabama before you have formally filed and had her served with dissolution of marriage documents. Otherwise, she will be able to keep your son over there and refuse to return him. You are entitled to her address and other information just as... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Florida on
Q: is it illegal not to tell the baby’s father the unborn child’s gender?

Me and the baby’s father aren’t together and were never married. He had a lot of issues as in mental, money, probation, he was aggressive and manipulative,etc. I decided it was best for me to leave him and take care of myself and my pregnancy since he wouldn’t become responsible. I hadn’t... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 19, 2020

No, your lawyer is correct; you don't have to tell him anything.

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2 Answers | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Florida on
Q: What are some common things a judge will require a parent convicted of domestic violence to complete.

My son has a misdemeanor DV battery conviction (10/2018), and a violation of DV injunction conviction (6/2019) both against the mother of his 4 yr old son. He has not had any contact with his son in about 19 months due to this. I was doing some research & I see Florida has a “rebuttable... Read more »

Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson answered on Feb 18, 2020

If your son was ever on probation for any of the charges, he should have been ordered to complete a batterer's intervention class and anger management. If he has not completed any of those, he probably should. Also, he may want to consider completing a parenting class. Best of luck!

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can two people getting married get a prenuptial agreement that states a simple 70/30 split if they both agree?

If divorce occurs in one state, does the marrying state influence the terms of divorce?

Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara
Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara answered on Feb 16, 2020

The prenuptial agreement can have any terms that both sides can agree to, even 70/30. Most of these agreements state if only one states' laws will apply. This would mean that despite you moving somewhere else, the laws of the state where you choose would be applied.

Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: What can my fiance do if the mother of his son left the residence state to restrict a father/son relationship?

He has made several attempts to visit him. (Mother denying) Just recently she finally agreed to a visit and the day of we find out she left the state. When he contacts her she tells him shes on vacation and they can set something up for visits when they come back. That was over a month ago! We have... Read more »

Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara
Vanessa Alexandra Vasquez de Lara answered on Feb 16, 2020

If he has not established paternity through the courts, he needs to immediately start the process. Otherwise, he has no legal rights to timesharing with the child. He then needs to search for her in the new state through social media, questioning family members, or other methods. Worst case, he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Does my fiancé have to adopt my daughter before we can change her last name to his? He’s taken care of her since age 2.

My daughter has her biological father last name but he was charged with child abuse and neglect against my daughter when she was 18 months so he hasn’t been in her life since then my current fiancé has been helping me take care of her since she was 2 years old and she told us she wants his last... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 15, 2020

Seeking a name change and seeking to adopt are two very different things. Call a family lawyer and ask for assistance.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can my ex wife sell a vehicle that still had her name on it but I was given 100% ownership in the divorce
Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson answered on Feb 13, 2020

If the cmfinal order gave you the property right, she is in contempt for violating the order. You would have to file an appropriate motion to hold her in contempt of that final order.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: Should I be taking funds from our joint account?

I have been separated 2 years now from my husband and within the last 6 months have obtained a job after not working since we were married. My question is prior to obtaining my job my ex was allowing me to withdraw funds from our joint account to take care of myself and our son. Now that I have a... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 13, 2020

It probably doesn't matter either way, but be sure to keep complete financial records.

If your son has been in Florida for at least six months, the Florida courts would have jurisdiction to decide custody; otherwise a divorce (including custody) would have to be brought in North Carolina...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: Should I be taking funds from our joint account?

I have been separated 2 years now from my husband and within the last 6 months have obtained a job after not working since we were married. My question is prior to obtaining my job my ex was allowing me to withdraw funds from our joint account to take care of myself and our son. Now that I have a... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 13, 2020

Your amicable relationship with your husband sounds like it is worth whatever it takes to keep it moving along well; that means you should not keep taking the same amount of money that you were taking before you found the job. I also suggest that you raise these issues with your husband--because he... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce, Family Law and Domestic Violence for Florida on
Q: Is grabbing a child by the arms squeezing, shaking them and threatening them considered corporal punishment?

In Sept 2019 I had to file injunctions against my ex husband and his fiance and contact CPS regarding Physical Child abuse. The father admitted of having knowledge and the fiance admitted to the abuse. The injunction agreement is good till April 2020. The terms agreed on were; no corporal... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 13, 2020

Yes, I suspect that the judge would find that the conduct constitutes violation of the injunction. It may also be a crime (threatening to cut the fingers off particularly).

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1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Unmarried father with history of domestic violence get unsupervised time with his kid?

Hello all, I have a 5 year old with my ex boyfriend. I have a permanent injunction against him with our daughter included since September 2018. He has 2 domestic violence misdemeanor battery convictions, and 2 violation of injunction convictions, all against me all within the past 3 yrs. He got out... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Feb 12, 2020

You need to be ready to present evidence as to why he should have supervised visitation. If there is no relationship then the timesharing would probably start with a reunification plan. You should schedule a consultation with a local lawyer to discuss the details.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Desperate for justice ! I need enforcement and modification- I am now in FL divorce was in AL.

My ex husband (prior military) got out of the military during divorce to avoid pay being garnished. (He always said he Refuses to pay me to raise our kids). So his CS was based off min. Wage for 3 special needs children. He took everything we owned in the divorce (before finalized). I moved to Fl... Read more »

Jean Richardson
Jean Richardson answered on Feb 12, 2020

Did you register the child support order in FL? If yes, the Department of Revenue should have garnished his wages if he has a job/income deduction order. The amount of child support is going to be based on his income. If he is only making minimum wage, you are not going to get much regardless the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: I have a step father that I don't want around my daughter. how do I keep him away legally? without going to jail.

my mother watches my child and has let him see her on a few occasions. I have noticed on my security camera. I want him (my step father) to stay away from my child. How can I do this? where do I start? who can I contact? I am not rich but he is.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 11, 2020

This family problem cannot be handled by asking civil lawyers questions online. If you have real concerns you need to see a criminal lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: How do I get a "legal name change court order" to amend my birth certificate. I am not changing my name.

I need my deceased father's name corrected to his legal birth name (not his assumed name). I have supporting documents.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Feb 11, 2020

This is a very unusual situation--one that requires hands-on experienced legal assistance. Hire a Florida lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: How to find out if my child's mother has had her rights terminated to my child's half sibling?

DP case opened in 2016 when my childs half sibling was 3 months old. He has been in foster care, he is now about to be 4. The TPR adjudicary hearing was Sept 2019 and final hearing was Nov 2019 but DCF and Kidscentral won't give me info as to the outcome which relates to my child.

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Feb 11, 2020

Have you been adjudicated to be your child's father? In any event, you probably need to consult with an attorney.

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