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Richard James Mockler III

Richard Mockler’s Answers

227 total


  • Should I file for full custody?

    I live in fl. My daughter is 4 months. Her dad has never seen her. Has never even asked for a pic (he lives in Philadelphia). I recently filed for child support. Now I'm thinking of canceling it. I don't want him to have her alone. I know she won'...

    Richard’s Answer

    Many fathers are interested in seeing their child, but they don't take the necessary action to establish legal time-sharing until they are forced to hire a lawyer. Once the lawyer is retained, the father frequently voices that he wants to be able to see the child. A sad reality is that petitioning for child support is sometimes the catalyst that sends the father to see an attorney. Perhaps he always wanted to see the child, but he just didn't have the inertia to retain a lawyer. Regardless of the reasoning, you should do what's best for your child. And, if you need the support to provide for her, you should petition for it. And, many girls benefit significantly from having a relationship with their dads, even if the mom might not be ready to let her go for time-sharing with the dad.

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  • I filed for a divorce and did our mediation and we signed the papers, now we're jus waiting for the court date for final hearing

    I didn't have a lawyer but he did. We have one child together. I want to change what was agreed during mediation. Before mediation he had our child every other weekend and during mediation changed it to every weekend and I believe it was changed t...

    Richard’s Answer

    If no judgment has been entered, it may be possible to set aside your parenting plan because it is not in the best interest of your child. Once a judgment is entered, you can only set the judgment aside for fraud, duress, coercion, mistake, or some other basis authorized under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.540. If the father can't do a lot of weekday time-sharing, perhaps a better compromise would be to give dad two weekends and then one to you. Or, even three weekends to one would be preferable over the dad having the child every weekend. Your son needs some weekend time with both parents. I have had several clients come to me trying to undo this arrangement. It might sound good at the time, but it leaves mom with all of the parenting "work" and dad with all of the weekend fun. I would not see sole parental responsibility as a realistic goal for you, unless the father was convicted of domestic violence or you can show that it would be detrimental to your son for the father to share in decision-making. You should probably talk to an experienced attorney.

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  • What are my options if my former spouse is not making alimony payments as outlined in the marital settlement agreement?

    Former spouse has had a change in income, unable to make alimony payments has stated in marital settlement agreement. (Is approximately 2 months behind in alimony payments now). Trying to be amicable in communication and resolving this issue but d...

    Richard’s Answer

    It does not sound like you want to go straight to contempt litigation. You could hire an attorney to facilitate the exchange of financial documentation and to set up a mediation. At mediation, if your former spouse has really had a permanent change in income that was involuntary and your former spouse cannot find a new job with similar pay despite their best efforts, you could negotiate something. If that fails, you will have met Hillsborough County's mediation requirement and you can move forward with contempt litigation. Your former spouse will likely respond by petitioning to modify alimony. But, alimony modifications are not easy to come by. You need to understand the law in this area.

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  • If movant of a filled /served motion fails to list it for hearing is other party permitted to do so ?

    Pro se party to litigation wants to know if she is permitted to list for hearing an discovery enlargement motion that the other side's attorney has filled/served but has not listed to be heard? What options do I have? What would you do? Please ...

    Richard’s Answer

    I would normally consider it improper for one party to call up for hearing the other party's attorney's motion to withdraw. Unless the attorney and/or the client agree that the representation has ended, the other party really doesn't have anything to say about that relationship. You could file a motion to lift the stay, require a responsive pleading, set the case for trial, or otherwise move the case forward.

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  • Is pro se party permitted to list for hearing other party's attorneys motion to withdraw?

    Attorney for Defendant has served and filled motion to withdraw and have 45 day stay. Pro se plaintiff filled and served memorandum in opposition. Defendant's Attorney notified client. Defendant's attorney listed it for hearing , but hearing was c...

    Richard’s Answer

    I would normally consider it improper for one party to call up for hearing the other party's attorney's motion to withdraw. Unless the attorney and/or the client agree that the representation has ended, the other party really doesn't have anything to say about that relationship. You could file a motion to lift the stay, require a responsive pleading, set the case for trial, or otherwise move the case forward.

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  • What can I do legally?

    My ex has a boyfriend that he keeps his shot gun underneath his bed where its visible and reacheable to my two boys, age 7 and 5. I have expressed the concern to my ex. She feels that I should my my own business and worry about them when the...

    Richard’s Answer

    The first question is whether you have a family law case. If you have an open case, you can simply file a motion requiring the mother (your ex) to secure any guns in the home in a safe. If you have a closed case with a parenting plan, you may be able to file a motion, depending on the terms of the parenting plan. Or, you may need to file a supplemental petition, as the prior answer suggests. The issue is whether requiring guns to be secured is a "modification" of the parenting plan. You should probably consult an experienced family law attorney.

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  • If paternity was filed, is there anyway to see the child while court action or before mediation takes place I want to see the

    I haven't seen child in three weeks since filing petition What can be done to make sure she is safe.

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    The court will not order time-sharing until there has been a determination regarding paternity. In Hillsborough County and many other counties, the Court will enter a temporary standing order requiring the parents to facilitate time-sharing. If you can't leverage that order as a basis for letting you see the child, you will need to go to a temporary relief hearing.

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  • Can I move out of state if the father of my child does not call or see her ?

    my ex husband and I are divorced , I have to redo my parenting plan because he doesn't call or see our daughter. he doesn't call or see her for months and im not currently working and going back to school so I can get a better job, and my fiancé m...

    Richard’s Answer

    Even if your former husband does not call or visit, the law still requires that you file a relocation petition and secure court approval prior to moving out of state. If your former husband has no involvement, then it should be relatively easy to get court approval, through a stipulation or a default. If he was awarded meaningful time-sharing, you may also be entitled to a retroactive modification of child support.

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  • Question about child support

    I have a 6 year old son with my ex girlfriend. We broke up when he was 3 and, At that time I moved from Clearwater to fort Myers. Then in November of 2014 I was hit by a car. I was in the hospital for 2.5 months and, I almost lost my arm. They wer...

    Richard’s Answer

    My concern is how you were served with what sounds like a child-support determination without attending a hearing or participating in the case. If you were unable to attend the hearing we did not have notice of it then you could move to vacate the judgment that was entered against you. The significant issue is that the hearing officer apparently applied the child support retroactively. You need to consult with an attorney regarding the retro active portion of the award as well as the going forward assessment of child support. If the judgment was just entered, you arguably would not be entitled to seek a modification of unless your circumstances have changed since the entry of the judgment.

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  • Reasons to modify a parenting plan

    My ex has filed a petition to modify our parenting plan. While she agreed initially to it, her circumstances have changed and doesn't allow her to spend the time the plan gives her. She now wants to gain more time to make up for what is lost due t...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I assume a judgment has been entered in your case. As the prior response makes clear, any modification must be based on a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances. Nothing you reference would appear to meet that high standard. So, I agree that a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment is the appropriate response.

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