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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13752
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My ex husband was charged and indicted in 31 deli you counts

Customer Question

My ex husband was charged and indicted in 31 deli you counts against children. Judge issued a directed verdict and he's free. After 5 years he's coming after the children. I do not even have a parking ticket. My current husband has raised them and we are now in Florida. We have spent over $100k fighting this and the depositions keep happening. Is there anything I can do since the move to Florida was not contested? Is there any kind of immunity?
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Case in Georgia. We live in Florida now.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Like what? We divorced, my son left a voicemail that let to the children's advocacy center, tons of therapists and 3 hospitalization of my son. I continue to fly up to Atlanta to meet with the custody evaluator and GAL and the kids are finally stable, making Straight A's and happy. Now this monster who abused me and the children comes back after 5 years and is trying to get primary custody. Am I missing something?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: This has been going on since 2007 and I have had full custody with dad having no contact since 2008. He sweeps in out of the blue after the children are finally doing well and in come the lawyers, custody evaluator and Guardien. It's a Raquet. I would kill to be able to share custody and gave him half in mediation until I found out he was abusing them.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your patience.

There's no immunity, because custody and visitation issues are never "set in stone." That is because if there is a material change in circumstances, either parent could seek modification. That doesn't mean he will be successful, however.

First, the term “custody” does not exist in Florida any longer for family law cases. Florida now uses the term "time-sharing" and establishes a time-sharing schedule rather than a visitation schedule.

After an initial custody determination was made (for older divorces) or a time-sharing schedule was established (for more recent divorces), the best interest of the child is not the first aspect of time-sharing the court will consider to modify the time-sharing/custody.

Rather, a parent must first show a substantial change of circumstances. Section 61.13, Florida Statutes, specifically states: “A determination of parental responsibility, a parenting plan, or a time-sharing schedule may not be modified without a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances and a determination that the modification is in the best interests of the child."

There are three critical words:

  1. Substantial
  2. Material
  3. Unanticipated

Thus, before he decides he wants to change time-sharing, he needs to have a lot more evidence than simply believing that your children will be better off. Some instances that might be considered a substantial change in circumstances would include a parent who develops an addiction problem, enters into an abusive relationship in which the child is exposed to the abuse, or where the parent continuously interferes with the other parent’s time-sharing. These are substantial, material to the child, and were unanticipated.

Just because the court case is over, therefore, and he thinks he would be the better parent, will not by itself, be enough for him to be awarded custody. If the children are doing well in their current environment, a judge will be very reluctant to modify that arrangement.

If you need clarification about my answer or additional information, please use the SEND or REPLY button to continue our conversation. Your satisfaction is my goal and I am here to help!

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you or additional information you needed? If so, kindly REPLY and I'm happy to help further! If not, please kindly remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page. Attorneys on Just Answer are not employees of this site, and are not paid until you leave a positive rating for our time and assistance. Thank you.