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My son is going through a custody case. He went through family…

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My son is going through...
My son is going through a custody case. He went through family court and served her papers. she did not respond in the 20 days so she "defaulted" She also did not show up for the mediation hearing. Meanwhile she 4 county's over served him papers (same state of Fl) he thinking because his papers were served first he didn't have to respond. Turned out the judge wanted to hear the case anyway (His papers just said he wanted shared custody. Her papers however said she wanted full custody and for him to only have limited supervised visits due to him being physically abusive to her, a drug user and a drug seller. "ALL LIES" Note: The day they broke up She went to jail for domestic violence!) Anyway he mailed a motion to dismiss her case but he had to go anyway. So he drove 6 hours for her court hearing and She did not even show up. She had went to NC to visit her Mom and decided to stay there. So her case was gone and now it was time for court for his case. They had the hearing to set a trial date and the judge allowed her to participate by phone, he also allowed her to participate by phone, with a notary, for trial. The trial was 3 1/2 hours long (no lawyers for either side) and the outcome was she was in violation of her court order by moving out of the state and had 30 days to come back to Fl. He also gave shared custody time with my son getting the normal every other weekend 1 day on the off week. He assigned odd and even years for holidays, birthdays, etc. every important day throughout the year, including summers. It was a final hearing with a final judgement to commence in 30 days. At this point, May 5th my son had not seen his child (son) since Jan. 12th!! So needless to say he was very excited to know that in 30 days he would rightfully be united with his son. Well, 5 days before the 30 was up he got served two sets of papers, one from her lawyer saying he was in charge now and that he was filing for an exceptions hearing to fight the right to move and the custody arrangement. The other was from the court saying that jurisdiction was taken away from the magistrate and given to the judge and that a hearing was going to be set to decide if there was merit to the exceptions to either reinstate the "final" hearing custody arrangements or to set a whole new trial...... after fighting with the courts and the lawyer to hurry up and set a date (they were trying to push it into Sept.) but we managed to set it for (the earliest we could get!) Aug.9th..........My question is; Are we going to need to get a lawyer in order to make sure she does not get to get her way and not come back and share custody? Is the "Only" way to make sure what is right and just is done is by getting a lawyer? Our hesitation is money. We have had a series of issues that has put us both on a very tight budget. But I don't want to show up and because she has a lawyer (and we all know they all know each other and are all friends) and we don't. that only her voice will be heard and ours will be shut out and the judge finds merit to the exceptions and sets for a whole new trial. Then it will be months longer before my son sees his son, and frankly I don't think he can take much more of not seeing him, and feeling beat up by a system that only serves those with money and lawyers. I just don't understand how after giving up her opportunity to get a lawyer by ignoring the custody papers along with the court ordered details (like not taking the child more than so many miles, much less leaving the state) and after 20 days is declared a "default" and doesn't show up for the mediation, heck she didn't even show up for her own court case. She has done nothing but ignore with total disrespect for the rights of the father as well as the family court system. Then when she doesn't like the outcome of the court proceedings, she's allowed to go ahead and over ride the whole court system, after a "Final" hearing, with "Final" court orders, and hire a lawyer who is then allowed to stop the "Final" court order and prolong the process until August and then possibly a whole new trial. How is this allowed to happen, and what can a low income, yet loving father do about this? Where are His rights?
Please advise on this, and of any "affordable" help available, and if you suggest we have legal representation.
Sorry so long and Thank you for any help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
6/22/2010
Lawyer: MShore, Attorney replied 8 years ago
MShore
MShore, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 25,285
Experience: Negotiate, Draft, and Review many complex commercial agreements each year.
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Thank you for the post, because she has an attorney, it is well advised for your son to retain one as well. I offer this because the attorney will likely engage the judge in a familiar dialog and your son may be unable to do so, which will in turn prejudice his case.
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