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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9910
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Okay I am writing on my husband’s behalf. He and a female

Customer Question

Okay I am writing on my husband’s behalf. He and a female have a kid in common. My husband put in a visitation order in with the courts in 2012, when the child was 1 going on 2 yrs old. Since then the mother has ran the visitation plan. It states that she is to meet him at the public library every other Saturday to drop off his child and meet there to pick her up at 5pm Sunday. There has been multiple times she has not showed up and my husband has not done anything with the courts, due to taking her in on one contempt and the courts did not listen to him they just took the mothers word for it. So he thinks she will always get her way in court so why even try. The mother never has a job, she uses drugs, Herion, pops pills, sells food stamps for money for drugs and her child goes hungry. This has been the whole time the 5yr old has been born. DCF has been called on the Mother has to be 15 times and every time she is manipulates them into believing she is a wonderful mother and passes drug test.
No Fast Forward to now. My husband has been denied visitation by the mother going against the court ordered plan sine June, he has not seen his child and the mother will not communicate with my husband.
My husband put an contempt on the mother a few weeks ago and they granted him make up time. The papers states that the mother must strictly comply with the order and also give my husband every weekend visits starting from Oct 4th until March. Up until now 3 weekends later after the order been in, she has not still let him have the child nor has replied to any of his attempts to get the child.
We got phone call last night about what my husband’s child is going through.
The caller stated that my husband needed to get custody of his child bc of the conditions his child is in.
It is said that the mother and her boyfriend get prescription drugs, which is about 200 pills, and sell them in order to buy Roxies and Herion.
They get $900.00 in food stamps and sell them for cash and use the money for drugs, and the kids (my husbands child and the boyfriends 2 kids) go hungry. The kids complain about being hungry.
That the both are high on drugs, sleep all day, leaving the kids to defend on themselves. Ages ranging from 5-10yrs old.
The kids never get attended to as in never take baths or clean themselves, hair never fixed.
Company in the house they live in has found needles lying around.
The kids have missed about 14days of school since school started August 10th.
The people who rented the house have moved out and has the water turned off and they are being squatters refusing to leave. The kids have lived there for weeks without water.
The kids are around alcoholism, drugs, and indecency.
The female and the boyfriend says that DCF visit and get called so much that they keep the kids urine in a crock pot warm for when DCF ppl just show up they will pass the drug test.
What can my husband do with out proof of this?
The ppl who always come out of no where with telling me I need to get custody of my child bc all this info they give me, but when I ask will they help me and tell the courts they back out bc they say they are snitching.
We live in Florida and it is hard to just walk into court and say I want custody of my child bc they will want something more.
Is there something a non-custodial parent can file for emergency custody to get his child out those living conditions asap?
Please help she would be in better hands with us. We both work for the school board; we take care of our children.
We need in-depth help bc this child needs a better chance of life then what she is getting with her mother.
Before finding our all this my husband went to the court house and filed another contempt on Monday, for the mother still taking his ordered make up weekends. We are still awaiting a date for that now.
And in addition to what he can do asap to get his daughter out of the conditions asap, what can be done without proof to keep her?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today. Thank you for your question and thank you for using Give me a bit and I will draft you an answer.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Okay thank you, ***** ***** no money for a lawyer to represent us in court but we don't even know where to start, for one bc the female is manipulative and everyone will believe anything she says, even the courts. My husband feels they always favor her, she has lived in a homeless shelter for 3 months in the start of the year with his child and DCF told him she was doing a great job as a mother bc that is considered shelter. My husband has no records with the law never been in trouble, he has graduated from college he is a good man, he pays his child support religiously and we could give the child a great home. Courts just always favor the mothers. please give us options and all the help you can!
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

He could file a motion for emergency custody because of these conditions which might be difficult because the Court will need evidence to award this. It is done ex parte (without the other party) Generally, a court is against emergency orders because they do not provide an adequate opportunity to the other party to appear and respond. In general, the law has many very specific requirements and emergency relief is rarely granted. In a few rare cases the filing party must show clear evidence of:

  1. Recent incidence of child abuse, neglect or spousal abuse or spousal rape.
  2. Credible threats by a parent to remove the child from the residence or school.
  3. Evidence of drug use or alcohol abuse by the other parent.

I would recommend hiring a private investigator or trying to get evidence of this yourself somehow. Pictures of the conditions or drug use would help. Any evidence of arrests could be used as well as long as it is current. Also testimony from the DCF worker if you think it will help.

Another option would be for you as the step parent to file a petition for temporary custody. See link:

Your husband cannot file this as he has an open court case, only you can or another family member. If one of the parents object (who knows if she will even respond), "the court shall grant the Petition only upon a finding, by clear and convincing

evidence, that the child(ren)’s parent or parents are unfit to provide for the care and control of the child(ren). In determining that a parent is unfit, the court must find that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child(ren), as defined in Chapter 39, Florida Statutes.

You will HAVE to get some type of evidence for either petition (unless she does not respond to a motion filed by you) and show by clear and convincing evidence (over 51% evidence for example) that there is some type of abuse happening to the children or conditions that are not in the child's best interest. There is no magical formula here and you have to get evidence if you want to get the child out of these terrible conditions.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer if satisfied. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 to choose from. This extra step will cost you nothing extra and will be greatly appreciated. See link for how to rate:

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
When you say we need strong evidence can you give me examples of that? Bc I know without a doubt we cannot get physical evidence.what will be done if she is still not complying with the order put in on the 1st of October?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Hello; new contributor here;

I have reviewed the above and am sorry to hear your family is having to undergo this.

Often times child custody and visitation cases do not have physical evidence, so in that case, the judge will decide the issues based on allegations presented by the party. An effective way of doing this is by declaration/affidavit- basically a party, and witnesses, can provide testimiony via an affidavit, informing the judge of instances indicating why a certain parental arrangement is preferred.

Ideally the declaration should provide a summary of events, and then list with details incidents of concern. Valuable affidavits may come from day care providers, relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc.

Another great resource is the psychological evaluation of a parent. This is done upon court approval. Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure 12.360 and 12.363 provide for evaluation of parents and children by a psychologist. The idea is to have a parent evaluated to determine if they are fit to parent-if not, the court will impose restrictions- ie supervised visitation.

More information on that is here:

For contempt, if a party violates a court order- a knowing and willful violation, the court can award sanctions which may include: court fines, the award of attorney fees, even jail time or a change in parenting time.

I hope this information helps as I cannot imagine your frustration and concern.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Additionally there is a legal doctrine: parental alienation - this is when one parent actively seeks to affect the child's relationship - either by denial of parenting time, or by disparaging the parent in front of the child. That can result in a change of custody/visitation or restrictions such as supervised visitation.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Also there is a procedure for the sheriff to pick up children from a parent that is providing an unsafe environment -

I hope this helps; please let me know if you have additional questions.