If a judge has not signed an order is it legal and must I follow the order?

Asked over 3 years ago - Tampa, FL

A family law judge is forcing me to allow my daughter's father to have "alone" time with her, even though she has never been with him by herself. She is afraid of him. The judge ignored our parenting agreement which we both crafted and signed, but the judge didn't like it, even though a previous judge signed off on it. The judge sent a copy of his orders to my attorney who just faxed them to me, but they are not signed by the judge. Do I have to follow the orders if they are not signed by the judge? This is supposed to happen tomorrow, can you help me right away? My attorney is out of town and unavailable.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Eric J Trabin

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . I would ask how do you know about the order? If the judge said it in court then you should follow the order because he verbally ordered it. It is also possible that your copy of the order isn't signed but the original order (in the court file) is signed. Often the judge will provide copies of orders to parties but only sign the original for the court file. If you disobey the order, then in all likelihood the father will go to the judge and will try to have you held in contempt. Your response that the written order wasn't signed will likely not be appreciated by the judge. You should really try to get a hold of your attorney (email?) since the attorney was probably present when the order was originally given.

  2. John Arthur Smitten

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . It is an Order so you have to comply, or appeal.

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