URGENT - I need advice from a Florida family law attorney. I have been in a post separation/divorce custody battle with my ex for 7 years now. Our sons are now 14 and 16. I have lived in Newport Beach, CA with my 14 year old for the last two years after the Florida courts granted me permission to relocate with him (at the time, my 16 year old chose to stay in Florida with his father and Florida retained jurisdiction over our case). We both retained joint legal/physical custody with time sharing outlining that each resided in CA/FL for the school year with both boys sharing equal time with mother/father over summers and holidays. My ex has a strong history of alcoholism and sex addiction, but the courts have widely ruled those issues as not relevant because there haven't been recent relative misbehavior. However, in January of this year, our oldest son (16) started being excessively abused and controlled by his Dad (i.e. being punched in the face and having any and all privileges taken away, including his ability to talk to his mom and brother, for several months at a time). Our 16 year old, on his Dad's watch, began to sneak out at night and started using drugs - mostly marijuana - and alcohol. The power struggle got so intense between my son and his Dad, especially when my son started to beg to come live with me in CA, that my son became dispondent and in January, was telling any adult who would listen that he was suicidal, knowing that they would have to take him to a hospital and get him a few days of safety away from his dad. I filed an emergency motion after re-petitioned the court for custody of the 16 year old (on my own - no money for an attorney). The court set it for hearing within the week back in early February, but the weekend before my emergency hearing, my ex took my son, held him hostage for 2 days while torturing him and coerced him into signing himself into a 30 day drug treatment center the morning of my emergency hearing. My son feared his Dad would otherwise put him in Juvenile Detention if he didn't comply. The court determined that there was no longer an emergency (thus no reason to present evidence) because my son was no longer a danger to himself and in a 30 day program. The court ordered my ex to tell me where my son was and give me the code for accessing his physicians.My ex kept my son hidden for 30 days while I searched. Upon finding my son, he had been in a lockdown program and had become so frightened that he would never get out that he began to proclaim that he was a depressed drug addict because he believed that conforming to the program was the only way out of it. His dad sent him to CA for the first half of the summer, but i had to send him back this week for the second half of the summer. My emergency motions were never heard because my ex's attorney has managed to come up with dozen of reason why she couldn't schedule a hearing even though the courts ruled my emergency motions should be heard asap. I finally got her (andrea black, esq.) to schedule a hearing after I filed a contempt motion against my ex for him keeping my son from me, blocking all phone contact, etcetera. His attorney filed a similar contempt motion against me 2 days later accusing me of alienation of affection and blocking contact (basically accused me of what he is doing). His attorney set both motions for hearing July 27 but never mailed me the notice, just emailed me an html that I couldn't print. I checked the courts docket a week ago and found that she had lied about the hearing date, it was in fact set for July 23rd. I spent a grand buying the only airline tickets I could find for me and my son, had to fly 9 hours last sunday, got to the courthouse in orlando an hour early and found out sitting in the waiting room with her court reporter that she had cancelled the hearing. As soon as I returned to CA, I found out she rescheduled it for this Thursday (knowing I couldn't turn around and fly back). Now, his attorney has taken my contempt motion off the notice of hearing, is using a mailing address on the notice which is 2 years old and is considering an email to me proper notice of hearing. By the way, this particular attorney is already up on ethics charges that were found to have merit and she is awaiting reprimand for similar misbehaviors. What can I do? Any motion I might file won't be seen by the judge. I have Muscular Dystrophy so I can ask to testify by phone, but how do I let this judge know that all of my motions are being buried in a mound of lies while his attorney does a rain dance for the judge with one goal, to prevent my son from being able to move to CA with me.
State/Country relating to question: Florida
explained in the narrative
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I have a hearing scheduled for Thursday August 2nd. I need to know how to file a motion for sanctions and how to argue it.
That is way beyond the scope of what we do here and the amount you offered. I will opt out to see if another attorney would like to assist but the question was already marked as underpriced before I choose to help answer it.
Good evening! Different attorney, different opinion. I'm a Florida family law attorney and I think I can provide some assistance.
As to how to file the motion, you can send that to the clerk of court in the appropriate Florida county and send a copy to the father, or his attorney if he is represented.
As to arguing the motion, it would be prudent to create an outline of your issues along with details as to your evidence. You could write bullet points for each issue that you need to bring up and then use that in court to help you create a smooth presentation for the hearing.
This can be a complicated matter, please let me know if anything requires clarification.
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I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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