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My ex wife left the state of Florida with our daughter about 9 months ago. I have my daughter now during the summer and I am

Tampa, FL |

refusing to send her back due to the fact that under our divorce decree it states, (61.13001Parental relocation with a child.) My ex wife did not notify me of her intention of not returning to Florida. She only told me she would be out of state for a short while and then returning. I am now filing with an attorney for custody of our daughter. Did I take the appropiate steps and also was I in my rights to keep her?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Surely your attorney did not recommend that you also disregard the final judgment. The final judgment is an Order of the Court. Unless it was an emergency, which should have been immediately followed with an emergency court filing, you have weakened your position by stooping to your ex's level.

    Assuming it was agreed that the child would live mostly with your ex, you probably should immediately return the child to the mother, and push forward with a Supplemental Petition For Modification of Custody. You might also want to pursue a Motion to Enforce/Contempt.

    Law Offices of Elliot Jay Goldstein, P.A.
    1401 Ohio Ave., Ste. B
    Palm Harbor, FL 34683
    Tele. No.: 727/455-6596

    Law Offices of Elliot Jay Goldstein, P.A.
    550 N. Reo St. Ste. 300
    Tampa, FL 33609
    Tele. No.: 813/810-1500


  2. It's never a good idea to simply take the law into your own hands, which is what you've done. The statute you quote contains an emergency provision for just such circumstances, that is, to quickly decide where the child should live while the case is litigated. You've bucked all that and maybe traumatized your child by doing what you wanted instead of what your lawyer may have advised. You should be talking to your lawyer now, not us.

    The contents of this answer should be considered friendly advice, not legal advice (I'm a pretty friendly guy), and the answer should not be construed to constitute an attorney-client relationship. If you'd like actual legal advice, call me for a free consultation at 813-635-0222. Also, if you liked this answer as much as my big ego thinks you did, be sure to click the thumbs-up button!


  3. I agree with my colleagues. This is the type of brinksmanship that gives children nightmares. You need to probably start looking for therapy for your child and reach out to your ex through an attorney and stop this insanity. You do not take a child like a tow-truck repossesses a vehicle. Please think carefully before acting.

    Bill Rosenfelt 407-462-8787 (Orlando/Longwood/Central Florida)

    Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.


  4. Not sure if the court will allow you to simply keep the child however you are correct she did not have authority to move in the first place.

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