My son's mom (never married) told me in 2 wks she was moving to NY with our son without telling me where they were moving to. I do not think its fair I have to pay to see my son when she wants to move. So, I served her thru court w/ temp injunction until we could set up visitation rights and who was going to pay for travel costs. I found out she left anyway. She has refused to even let me talk to my son. We have not gone to court yet, but she was served by sheriff, what can the court do to her?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Even though you were never married you have rights regarding the relocation of your children. If you have never had a formal proceeding (court case) regarding the parental responsibility and timesharing (Florida's term for relocation) then I HIwould recommend that you immediately file a Petition for Paternity at the courthouse asking the court to establish your rights and to object to and prevent the child's relocation.
If your legal rights regarding your child have already been established by a court in a paternity action, then you should file a motion objecting to the relocation of your child and immediately have her served with a copy of the same by a process server. Under the Florida statutes, she must obtain a consent and agreement by you to permit the relocation of the child to another state (unless, in some circumstances, you previously agreed to permit the child's location, which is sounds like this did not happen, not sure). If she cannot obtain your voluntarily agreement to permit the relocation of the child to another state, then she needs to file a Motion to Permit Relocation of Child and ask for permission by the court to relocate. She needs to allege the following:
(1) there has been a substantial change in circumstances requiring a modification of the current timesharing or visitation schedule with the child;
(2) She seeks to relocate her primary address at least 50 miles from her current address;
(3) According to Florida Statute 61.13001(3) she needs to state:
a. The location of the intended new residence, including the state, city, and physical address, (if known),
b. The mailing address of the new physical residence, if not the same as the physical address;
c. The home telephone number of the intended new residence, (if known);
d. The date of the intended move or proposed relocation;
e. A detailed statement of the specific reasons for the proposed relocation. If one of the reasons is based upon a job offer that has been reduced to writing, the written job offer must be attached to the petition.
f. A proposal for the revised postrelocation schedule for access and time-sharing together with a proposal for the postrelocation transportation arrangements necessary to effectuate time-sharing with the child. Absent the existence of a current, valid order abating, terminating, or restricting access or time-sharing or other good cause predating the petition, failure to comply with this provision renders the petition to relocate legally insufficient.
g. She must also state the following in all capital letters and in the same size type, or larger, as the type in the remainder of the petition:
A RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OBJECTING TO RELOCATION MUST BE MADE IN WRITING, FILED WITH THE COURT, AND SERVED ON THE PARENT OR OTHER PERSON SEEKING TO RELOCATE WITHIN 20 DAYS AFTER SERVICE OF THIS PETITION TO RELOCATE. IF YOU FAIL TO TIMELY OBJECT TO THE RELOCATION, THE RELOCATION WILL BE ALLOWED, UNLESS IT IS NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD, WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE AND WITHOUT A HEARING.
Florida Statute 61.13001 (7) states that in reaching its decision regarding a proposed temporary or permanent relocation, the court shall evaluate the items listed in 61.13001(7)(A) through (K). I will provide a link of that statute because it will not fit here.
Whether or not you have an existing case with her you should establish on and file an objection for relocation with the court. If she leaves on her own without your permission and without a court order, the court has the authority to issue a pick-up order for the police in NY to go retrieve your son and bring him back to Florida. (It's called pick up order). If you are going to do something, do it quickly. Otherwise you may waive your arguments to object.
(See FL Court Forms-free-Scroll to 12.950 (a)-(j) as these might help you. But, I highly recommend that you get a family law attorney to help you. Dana E. Quigley, Esq.
Please note that answers to these questions and/or comments are not intended to be legal advice and are for informational purposes only. This response does not create any attorney-client relationship. This answer and/or comment is based on minimal facts and the response or comment to the same may change if other factors are discovered. As such, this is a general response and/or comment that should not be relied on as legal advice. Please contact an attorney who can provide a full assessment of your case.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Presuming the temporary injunction was granted and she was ordered to not leave the state, an Emergency Child Pick Up Order needs to immediately be filed. Additionally, a paternity action will need to be filed in order to establish your right to spend time with your son and be actively involved in your son's life.
My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss your potential rights and options further. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office at 407-971-6140 or 352-324-2444 to schedule same.
Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.
Joanna Mitchell, Esquire
Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
614 E Hwy 50, Suite 327
Clermont, Florida 34711-3164
PH: (352) 324-2444 or (407) 971-6140
FX: (352) 324-2229