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Florida Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: Can I have legal representation assist in my divorce if I live in FL, and ex is in Indiana where he filed?

I need help with my divorce. My ex moved out of state to Indiana with our daughter without my permission, and I'm in FL. Juristiction issues ........

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 4, 2020

If the child was removed from this state and has been in Indiana for less than six months, jurisdiction would be in Florida. But you will probably need an Indiana attorney as well as a Florida one.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can my marriage negatively affect current court orders?

I recently got married for the first time. However, I have a child with my ex. We went to court in 2018 and he gave me sole and legal custody. He Went back shortly after but he was denied his motion to vacate and set aside parenting plan. However, now there’s been a notice of appearance filed so... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 3, 2020

It is impossible to predict what may happen, but now that your child's father has an attorney, it would be a good idea to get yourself an attorney too.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Temporary Relief missing decision making for one parent or the other... who decides?

My attorney filed temporary relief with multiple contempts & I won as the Father & I will be receiving the majority of time-share, but there is no specific reference in the pending order as to who makes specific decisions in regards to medical, school, activities etc.

My temporary... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Aug 2, 2020

It's not spelled out because the judge hasn't got around to it yet &/or your motion didn't go into that detail. Ask your attorney when he or she gets back.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Is it ok for a child of school age to sleep in the same room as a mother and an adult who is not the father?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Aug 1, 2020

This is not a legal question. It is a very important personal question the answer to which may come back to haunt you later. Having been there, in my personal opinion the parents of small children should not do what you a considering because it sends the wrong message to small children: That it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: What would happen in the event I was married to my spouse but for whatever reason the certificate wasn't filed?

What if my spouse dies? We've also been granted full custody of our children for almost 3 yrs. Bio mom is deadbeat, hasn't paid child support, has lied to the court, lost custody & deemed unfit due to abuse/ neglect was/ possibly still is addicted to meth. They want to remain in my... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 31, 2020

If the marriage was performed, but the certificate was not duly filed, you are still married. Whether, in the event your spouse were to die, whether the biological parents could successfully seek custody of the children would depend on the circumstances under which you were granted custody, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: I am an Alabama resident and was served with a subpoena from a Florida Court. Is this acceptable?

I was served a subpoena at my home in Alabama to appear by Zoom for a deposition in a divorce case in Florida. Am I subject to contempt of court if I refuse?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 31, 2020

Probably not. Florida Rules of Civil Procedure (e) (2) provides that:

"A person may be required to attend an examination only in the county wherein the person resides or is employed or transacts business in person or at such other convenient place as may be fixed by an order of...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: How exactly do official marriages, de facto marriages (unofficial marriages) and extramarital relationships work?

I practice polyamory and also de facto polygamy. I am interested in having one official wife through one official marriage, more than one de facto wife, which is also known as a concubine, through de facto marriages (unofficial marriages), mistresses through long-term extramarital relationships and... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 30, 2020

You are only allowed to have one spouse at a time. All of the many relationships and terms you use are not recognized in the law; they are extra-marital relationships (i.e.: adultery). Child custody would depend upon the best interest of the child.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Florida on
Q: I was born in florida but we recently moved to pa my mother let me visit florida n my family my step dad is

Very abusive to me n my siblings n my mother but she wont leave him i am in Florida still n i do not want to go back because of how bad it is there but my mom will not let me stay in florida but i have my aunt she has her own house in palm bay i would my own room im gonna get a job n my permit im... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 30, 2020

Have you aunt consult with an attorney immediately. if you were in Pennsylvania for less than six months, the Florida courts have jurisdiction.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can a judge order me out, but her stay? Can he order us to sell the house? What's the worst scenario for me?

Oct 2018 I bought a house with my gf at the time. I sold my previous house, boat and truck and used that profit to make the down payment on $50K or so. She put in $0. We are both on title, but i'm the only one carrying the mortgage. We moved in and each split the mortgage, everything else i... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 30, 2020

Yes, the judge can do that. The property clearly seems to be marital property, assuming "she" is your wife.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Florida on
Q: Will notice ofunavailability move a client deadline to produce if attrny included deadline delay verbage in his filing?

I have Signed Order to produce financials due 7/31 from my ex . His attrny filed Notice of unavailability yest. Includes delay of deadlines in the filing to 8/10. Does that move my ex(his client's) deadline from 7/31 to 8/10? Can I efile response to notice asking that his client's... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 29, 2020

You can do whatever you want, but you might as well just document this violation and then wait until August 11 to see if the documents were delivered as the lawyer said. If not THAT is the time to start moving against both of them.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Military Law for Florida on
Q: What can my girlfriend do if her husband doesn’t want to get a divorce and he is blackmailing her to stay with him?

My girlfriend is being blacked mailed by her husband and threatening her that he will ruin her career and take everything away from her if she divorces him. He verbally and emotionally abused her. He uses religion to shame her and family as well. He has emails, text messages and pictures of us and... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 29, 2020

Get her an attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can a judge issue a default in divorce without me submitting a motion to default form?

Wife served me with nearly blank divorce papers and never responded to my counter petition or amended counter petition. Other than initially being served by the sheriff, she has failed to e-serve me properly with any other documentation nor has she amended any of her blank documents, other than the... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 28, 2020

Motions for default are usually a waste of time. However, based on the procedural facts you presented, you can draft and file a motion to compel an answer to your counter-petition, and to compel production of documents requested, which your spouse must respond to or be sanctioned for not... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: I'm non domicile parent and I'm being refused visitation for the last year. My number has been blocked multiple times.

My ex is disabled and granted domicile, and his mother has proxy over my ex because he is legally disabled. He is still of sound body and mind but she has gone in his place to hearings and he has shown up for some after. Is that legal?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 28, 2020

It is unclear what you mean by "proxy over [your] ex". Has she been appointed guardian of your ex-spouse? Also, your are indicating that "he is legally disabled", and then you indicate that he "is still of sound body and mind"; which is it? In any case, unless his... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Florida on
Q: If I buy a house in a co-ownership and the co-owners spouse divorces and demands 50-50 marital assets.

Does that affect the house in co-ownership?

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 28, 2020

Yes. The spouse of your co-owner could be awarded some or all of the co-owner's (half) interest in the house.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: I opened a paternity case in Florida then the respondent opened a case in Virginia for custody, how do I stop it?

The children were staying in Florida their whole life . She picked them up and took them to Virginia. Opened a case in Virginia. I already filled my paternity paperwork in Florida months before. I have already filed an injunction to prevent the removal of the children from the jurisdiction of the... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 27, 2020

You need an attorney in Virginia. Or ask your question in Justia > Ask a Lawyer ? Virginia.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Florida on
Q: I have a pending child support case & I’ve been supporting my daughter since she was born 1.5 yrs ago. Should I keep

keep Sending her mother money to help support my daughter or should I wait until the court case is final. I just hate the fact that courts like to say any money sent for support of your child is considered a gift. Which I don’t think is fair. She uses my daughter as leverage to hurt me by not... Read more »

B. Elaine Jones
B. Elaine Jones answered on Jul 23, 2020

You should have a consultation with a family law attorney to find out what you can do to get more time sharing with your child. If you continue to provide support for your child, make sure to keep track of it and always put in the legend of any checks or money orders child support. Most JUSTIA... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: what can I do as a father if my girlfriend take my kid to Puerto Rico and don't want to bring him back
Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 22, 2020

Get an attorney in Puerto Rico of course.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Florida on
Q: How does one address a court mediator during mediation. Is "Sir" or "Ma'am" the most appropriate nomenclature?
Mr Eric Klein
Mr Eric Klein answered on Jul 20, 2020

You should introduce yourself to the mediator and simply ask "May I call you John or do you prefer Mr. Smith"? A mediator is not a judge. Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Do one of the parents need to file a petition of paternity if there is a signed acknowledgement of paternity?

My son was born in FL in 2013 and I believe we signed an acknowledgement of paternity, but I do not have a copy. His father is on the birth certificate and in possession of my sons documents. We've been separated for 2 years and I want to proceed with a written long distance custody agreement... Read more »

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

First, assuming that no court case has been filed, you don't need to have an agreement before you can take the child out of state. Just don't do anything that could be construed as hiding the child's location from the father; it would be best if you send him a letter, by certified... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Florida on
Q: Is the My issue is child visitation. How does state jurisdictions apply?

We have gone to Mediation and we have a approved parenting plan and I have 100% physical custody of my daughter while her gets visitation. I live in Florida, he lives in DC, my daughter went to see him for Spring Braek, Covid19 hit and she got stuck up there and now he wont send her back and says... Read more »

Terrence H Thorgaard
Terrence H Thorgaard answered on Jul 15, 2020

No. I suspect that the District of Columbia has adopted the Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act, as Florida and just about all of the other states have. If so, the way it works is that, once the courts of one state have ruled on custody, the courts of the other states would abide by that... Read more »

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