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JPEsq.
JPEsq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Published articles on family law, featured in several publications for successful trial work.
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Q1) Can a parenting facilitator unilaterally schedule a hearing

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Q1) Can a parenting facilitator unilaterally schedule a hearing according to Rules of Civil Procedure? I would think only a party to the law suit (i.e., the petitioner or respondent) would have standing to request a hearing? Q2) Received a notice of hearing from the parenting facilitator, but never received a motion for that hearing. Isn't a motion required to request a hearing (even if a parenting facilitator can request a hearing)?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JPEsq. replied 2 years ago.

The parenting coordinator/facilitator can request a hearing. Even though she is not a party to the lawsuit, the facilitator has to act in the best interests of the child and has authority to ask for a hearing.

See the statutes here: http://statutes.laws.com/florida/TitleVI/chapter61/PARTI/61_125

Generally, a motion can be made orally or in writing. As a matter of course, appointed officers of the court (lawyers, facilitators, guardians ad litem) will call the court and ask for a hearing... the court just send out an order. This happens all the time, it is not a violation of any rule.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Just to clarify, if a motion is requested orally, how then is the respondent to have any idea as to what the hearing concerns? Here, the parenting facilitator refused to disclose what the underlying issue is, other than to state that she wants to seek clarification on whether or not she can make recommendations. Also, and I promise not to ask any more questions in this string, can a judge modify a parenting plan without there being a substantial change in circumstances and a petition requesting such a mod?

Expert:  JPEsq. replied 2 years ago.

I see. Most likely it is just a status hearing for the facilitator-- there won't be any issues for you to address.

As to your second question- there must a be a substantial and continuing change of circumstances in order to modify an existing order, that is correct. Also, unless it is an emergency, the written petition would have to come from a party.

JPEsq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5104
Experience: Published articles on family law, featured in several publications for successful trial work.
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