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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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I am filling a divorce with minor children in Miami Florida.

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I am filling a divorce with minor children in Miami Florida. I want to know what forms are requiered when requesting sole costudy with no rights to visitation

Dear angelo,


If you are filing pro se, you will need your divorce complaint and within same, you will request your sole custody and no visitation., along with all other family related issues, such as child support, equitable distribution of assets. You will also file a Family Law Financial Affidavit and a Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Affidavit. Your court should have all of these forms in simplified format for pro se litigants and if possible, I do suggest using them as they are often localized to your court. However, you can also purchase them online quite inexpensively.


Good luck.



Hope this helps to clarify.




Stephanie Joy





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He will not agree to sole custody and no visitation rights once served. What can be done do I still have to file a parenting plan and have him sign? If so can I fill it out without him?

Of course he won't agree, that was pretty much expected. And no, you don't have to file that parenting plan if you can't agree to one. However, the court will possibly order mediation on that issue and will ulitimatel decide on a parenting plan. Of course, if you have appropriate reasons and evidence as to why visitation with his father would no be in the child's best interest and/or why it would be detrimental to the father, you will need to provide it, and the court could feasibly award it. For instance, if the father is a child abuser, perpetually drunk or on drugs, etc., the court would likely agree with you, and eliminate visitation for the time being and/or until such time as the father can prove, via routine drug testing, that he is no long using, for X amount minimal time: 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, etc. That would essentially be a parenting plan with no time allocated to him - but no, obviously you two are never going to sign agreement on that, because he won't agree. The judge will have to order it.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
If he has been under investigation for child neglect or child mistreatment before would that suffice? Also emails showing that he is abusive towards me. And emails stating that he is suicidal and depressed?

Good morning Customer,


I think all of the above can and should be considered. If he was not found guilty of child abuse or neglect, then that will speak for itself, for the weight that fact will be given. However, if you can present the email evidence to the judge of abuse to you, which will show possibly is attitude, character and state of mind, it could certainly influence a judge's opinion on custody and visitation. If he is mentally ill, as evidenced by the emails discussing depression and suicidal ideations, that too is very significant. However, while you can seek to deny him (and the child) a right to a parent/child relationship and the visitation that would promote same, the judge may lean towards supervised visitation. It is a big deal to deny a child their parent, and visitation is generally considered a major right of the child, not just the father. However, because the ex may be found by the judge to be unstable and not safe for the child to in the care of, he may agree that the visitation needs to be supervised. I"m not sure how you feel about allowing supervised visitation, but given his treatment of you, you could possibly have it supervised by the court, where the child is brought to a court ordered facility, for, say 2 hours every week or 2 week, to spend some time in supervised visit with the dad. Or, the Judge might say, yes, I agree, no visitation until he seeks and attends psychological or psychiatric treatment with success for 6 months, 1 year, etc.


I hope this helps, it is never easy these situations, and I hope you are able to get the resolution you need for an unstressful split.


I wish you the best. Let me know if you need any clarification. And thank you immensely for your generosity - much appreciated.



Stephanie Joy

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He left me for over a year now. And he has an open child support case which they could not find him since he moved to Alaska. Can this be used as evidence of his irresponsible nature and cause him to lose rights. I don't want him to see them at all since he has never and will never provide for them.

Based on this abandonment, as well as the other facts that are coming to light as we interest, I suggest you consider Termination of his Parental rights as well. See below. Also, I suggest you consider NOT basing your desire to deny him visitation (or terminate his rights) on the fact that "I don't want him to see them all all since [because] he has never and will never provide for them." - I completely understand how you feel and would fee the same way. However, it will imply your desires are based on child support or lack there of, vs. him being bad for the kids. And a failure to pay child support is never a basis for denying vistition. So, if I were you I would be keeping that desire under my hat.



39.806 Grounds for termination of parental rights.--

(1) Grounds for the termination of parental rights may be established under any of the following circumstances:

(a) When the parent or parents have voluntarily executed a written surrender of the child and consented to the entry of an order giving custody of the child to the department for subsequent adoption and the department is willing to accept custody of the child.

1. The surrender document must be executed before two witnesses and a notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgments.

2. The surrender and consent may be withdrawn after acceptance by the department only after a finding by the court that the surrender and consent were obtained by fraud or under duress.

(b) Abandonment as defined in s. 39.01(1) or when the identity or location of the parent or parents is unknown and cannot be ascertained by diligent search within 60 days.

(c) When the parent or parents engaged in conduct toward the child or toward other children that demonstrates that the continuing involvement of the parent or parents in the parent-child relationship threatens the life, safety, well-being, or physical, mental, or emotional health of the child irrespective of the provision of services. Provision of services may be evidenced by proof that services were provided through a previous plan or offered as a case plan from a child welfare agency.

(d) When the parent of a child is incarcerated in a state or federal correctional institution and either:

1. The period of time for which the parent is expected to be incarcerated will constitute a substantial portion of the period of time before the child will attain the age of 18 years;

2. The incarcerated parent has been determined by the court to be a violent career criminal as defined in s. 775.084, a habitual violent felony offender as defined in s. 775.084, or a sexual predator as defined in s. 775.21; has been convicted of first degree or second degree murder in violation of s. 782.04 or a sexual battery that constitutes a capital, life, or first degree felony violation of s. 794.011; or has been convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction which is substantially similar to one of the offenses listed in this paragraph. As used in this section, the term "substantially similar offense" means any offense that is substantially similar in elements and penalties to one of those listed in this subparagraph, and that is in violation of a law of any other jurisdiction, whether that of another state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any possession or territory thereof, or any foreign jurisdiction; or

3. The court determines by clear and convincing evidence that continuing the parental relationship with the incarcerated parent would be harmful to the child and, for this reason, that termination of the parental rights of the incarcerated parent is in the best interest of the child.

(e) When a child has been adjudicated dependent, a case plan has been filed with the court, and:

1. The child continues to be abused, neglected, or abandoned by the parent or parents. The failure of the parent or parents to substantially comply with the case plan for a period of 9 months after an adjudication of the child as a dependent child or the child's placement into shelter care, whichever occurs first, constitutes evidence of continuing abuse, neglect, or abandonment unless the failure to substantially comply with the case plan was due to the parent's lack of financial resources or to the failure of the department to make reasonable efforts to reunify the parent and child. The 9-month period begins to run only after the child's placement into shelter care or the entry of a disposition order placing the custody of the child with the department or a person other than the parent and the court's approval of a case plan having the goal of reunification with the parent, whichever occurs first;

2. The parent or parents have materially breached the case plan. Time is of the essence for permanency of children in the dependency system. In order to prove the parent or parents have materially breached the case plan, the court must find by clear and convincing evidence that the parent or parents are unlikely or unable to substantially comply with the case plan before time to comply with the case plan expires.

(f) The parent or parents engaged in egregious conduct or had the opportunity and capability to prevent and knowingly failed to prevent egregious conduct that threatens the life, safety, or physical, mental, or emotional health of the child or the child's sibling.

1. As used in this subsection, the term "sibling" means another child who resides with or is cared for by the parent or parents regardless of whether the child is related legally or by consanguinity.

2. As used in this subsection, the term "egregious conduct" means abuse, abandonment, neglect, or any other conduct that is deplorable, flagrant, or outrageous by a normal standard of conduct. Egregious conduct may include an act or omission that occurred only once but was of such intensity, magnitude, or severity as to endanger the life of the child.

(g) The parent or parents have subjected the child or another child to aggravated child abuse as defined in s. 827.03, sexual battery or sexual abuse as defined in s. 39.01, or chronic abuse.

(h) The parent or parents have committed the murder, manslaughter, aiding or abetting the murder, or conspiracy or solicitation to murder the other parent or another child, or a felony battery that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child.

(i) The parental rights of the parent to a sibling of the child have been terminated involuntarily.

(j) The parent or parents have a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of alcohol or a controlled substance which renders them incapable of caring for the child, and have refused or failed to complete available treatment for such use during the 3-year period immediately preceding the filing of the petition for termination of parental rights.

(k) A test administered at birth that indicated that the child's blood, urine, or meconium contained any amount of alcohol or a controlled substance or metabolites of such substances, the presence of which was not the result of medical treatment administered to the mother or the newborn infant, and the biological mother of the child is the biological mother of at least one other child who was adjudicated dependent after a finding of harm to the child's health or welfare due to exposure to a controlled substance or alcohol as defined in 1s. 39.01(31)(g), after which the biological mother had the opportunity to participate in substance abuse treatment.

(l) On three or more occasions the child or another child of the parent or parents has been placed in out-of-home care pursuant to this chapter, and the conditions that led to the child's out-of-home placement were caused by the parent or parents.

(2) Reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families are not required if a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that any of the events described in paragraphs (1)(e)-(l) have occurred.

(3) If a petition for termination of parental rights is filed under subsection (1), a separate petition for dependency need not be filed and the department need not offer the parents a case plan having a goal of reunification, but may instead file with the court a case plan having a goal of termination of parental rights to allow continuation of services until the termination is granted or until further orders of the court are issued.

(4) If an expedited termination of parental rights petition is filed, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan, and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.

History.--s. 9, ch. 87-289; s. 16, ch. 90-306; s. 4, ch. 90-309; s. 7, ch. 92-158; s. 35, ch. 94-164; s. 1, ch. 97-226; s. 12, ch. 97-276; s. 88, ch. 98-403; s. 2, ch. 98-417; s. 45, ch. 99-193; s. 35, ch. 2000-139; s. 3, ch. 2001-3; s. 12, ch. 2004-371; s. 25, ch. 2006-86; s. 16, ch. 2008-245.

1Note.--Redesignated as s. 39.01(32)(g) by s. 1, ch. 2008-245.

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Also, here is the Florida legal definition of abandonment. Think he fits it?



39.01 Definitions.--When used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Abandoned" or "abandonment" means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, makes no provision for the child's support and has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child. For purposes of this subsection, "establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship" includes, but is not limited to, frequent and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with a child. The term does not include a surrendered newborn infant as described in s. 383.50, a "child in need of services" as defined in chapter 984, or a "family in need of services" as defined in chapter 984. The incarceration of a parent, legal custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child's welfare may support a finding of abandonment.



Hope this helps to clarify.




Stephanie Joy





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes he does. He did not make any contact or attempt to make contact with the childen till recently when he found out I had found someone else. While he was with the other woman he would come to see the kids by maybe 2 times a month till he moved to Alaska on the day after our youngest daughters birthday. And has not maintained any contact other then the abusive emails. Now that he knows I am seeking legal action for our divorce and plan on charging him with abandonment and take his rights for the children is when he is attempting to make contact but with threats which today I will be filing for harrassment and place a restraining order on him.