Skip to main content
Cary Garcia

Cary Garcia’s Answers

127 total


  • What can I do my drug addicted step-daughter lives with her father and me and I'm worried about our almost 2yr old grandson?

    Cary’s Answer

    You should absolutely report this mother to the Department of Children and Families. If they find it appropriate, they will assign a case plan that the mother would need to work through. This is not a family law question, and this case would actually belong in dependency court (there's no option here on Avvo to switch it to that practice area). I do not practice dependency; I just know something about this because family law and dependency do intertwine in some cases. I suggest you consult with a lawyer who does. Best of luck to you.

  • I got granted full custody of my child after the mom had not return back to Florida after violating a relocation law #childsuppo

    Cary’s Answer

    This is always a difficult issue to navigate. What I recommend to clients who can't find the other parent is to: a) hire a private investigator to perform a "skip trace," which can potentially find where they are, b) try to find out where the children are going to school and ask for their school records, which will contain an address, c) search social media postings to see if there is a location listed on any of the postings (or maybe they post a specific restaurant that can be found only in a specific town, which will give you guidance), d) try to ask mutual family/friends, if any, for help finding the children.

    Also, this is more drastic, but Florida does have a statute that talks about what should happen in the case of criminal interference with child custody - Florida Statute 787.03(2). If a parent is found guilty of this, the crime is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. I am not a criminal lawyer and do not know whether your case qualifies, but I would recommend that you speak with a criminal lawyer who is familiar with these issues.

    Best of luck to you.

  • Mother had an order to return back to the state of Florida after violating the relocation law and disappear again ?

    Cary’s Answer

    This is always a difficult issue to navigate. What I recommend to clients who can't find the other parent is to: a) hire a private investigator to perform a "skip trace," which can potentially find where they are, b) try to find out where the children are going to school and ask for their school records, which will contain an address, c) search social media postings to see if there is a location listed on any of the postings (or maybe they post a specific restaurant that can be found only in a specific town, which will give you guidance), d) try to ask mutual family/friends, if any, for help finding the children.

    Also, this is more drastic, but Florida does have a statute that talks about what should happen in the case of criminal interference with child custody - Florida Statute 787.03(2). If a parent is found guilty of this, the crime is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000 fine. I am not a criminal lawyer and do not know whether your case qualifies, but I would recommend that you speak with a criminal lawyer who is familiar with these issues.

    Best of luck to you.

  • How many days I have to file the Financial affidavit in court after being served with the Supplemental?

    Cary’s Answer

    There are two rules on this. Lets start with Florida Statute 61.30(14):

    "(Every petition for child support or for modification of child support shall be accompanied by an affidavit which shows the party’s income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The affidavit shall be served at the same time that the petition is served. The respondent, whether or not a stipulation is entered, shall make an affidavit which shows the party’s income, allowable deductions, and net income computed in accordance with this section. The respondent shall include his or her affidavit with the answer to the petition or as soon thereafter as is practicable, but in any case at least 72 hours prior to any hearing on the finances of either party."

    So, your ex needed to have attached her financial affidavit to her supplemental petition. You, on the other hand, need to provide your financial affidavit with your answer, or as soon as you can, but at the very least, 72 hours prior to a hearing regarding either of your finances.

    There is another rule, Rule 12.285 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. It states that you must file your financial affidavit, along with a slew of other required documents, within 45 days of service of the initial pleading. So, for example, if you were served on January 1, 2020, your deadline would be February 14, 2020 (45 days after January 1st). Therefore, if you did provide your financial affidavit with your answer, and you don't need to worry about the 72 hour deadline because there are no upcoming hearings, you should -- at the very least -- provide your financial affidavit along with the other required documents within 45 days from the date you were served.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

  • What happen if the parent moves after responding to summons for equal time share ?

    Cary’s Answer

    Where did she move to? Did she move more than 50 miles away from her initial residence? If so, check out Florida Statute 61.13001, which states that a parent cannot relocate more than 50 miles with a child during the pendency of a court proceeding without asking for the Court's permission. The Court can actually order that the child be returned if the Mother did this. Now, if she relocated within 50 miles with the child, and the issue is that you're just not sure of where she is and/or whether she will stay engaged in the case -- you don't need to re-serve her with your summons because she was already validly served once, and that's all you need for service to proper. However, you should definitely try to find her new address and ensure that, moving forward, everything is mailed to her at that new address, both using regular mail and via certified/return receipt. Any Notices of Hearing for any upcoming hearing dates should be resent to her, just to be sure that she received them. You can also serve her via e-mail, as long as it's an e-mail she regularly uses to communicate with you regarding this case. In other words -- anything you can use to show the judge that she has been properly notified of the events in the case will help. Good luck!

  • Can the mother install a GPS tracker in our child's phone without my knowledge or consent?

    Cary’s Answer

    Thank you for asking me to respond to this question.

    You can't file a Motion for Contempt if your Parenting Plan doesn't specifically prohibit either of you to install a GPS device on the child's phone. Contempt applies only when the Parenting Plan has specific language about what a parent can or cannot do, and a parent contravenes that specific language. Standard Parenting Plans don't contain this GPS language. So, unless you specifically added during your negotiations, it's probably not there.

    I think your best bet is to reach out to your former wife in writing (via e-mail, if possible). Tell her that you have become aware of the GPS device and that you do not consent to it. Also ask her if she agrees to remove it from the child's phone. Tell her that, while you wait for her response (and if she ultimately does not agree to remove it), you are still willing to comply with the Parenting Plan by permitting phone calls during the 7:30-9pm window on your own cell phone or home phone while the child's phone remains off.

    I would not go to the police with this. Although there is, indeed, a statute that prohibits this, I think contacting your former wife to get it removed and/or keeping the phone turned off is a better response. Not everything that can be handled by the police, should. Good luck!

  • I am granted Easter being that spring break does fall on Easter and it should be my half of spring break? ARCHIVED

    Cary’s Answer

    Based upon what you've written, Easter (which falls on the 2nd half of Spring Break this year) belongs to the parent who has the second half of Spring Break, i.e., the Father. Best of luck to you.

  • What happens in court if a parent filing for joint custody has a brain aneurysm that is supposedly worsening?ARCHIVED

    Cary’s Answer

    A serious health issue like this one that may prevent your child's father from properly caring for the child will likely be a concern for the court. If he really did have a seizure, and his condition is only worsening, he may even have another seizure while caring for the child alone. I think you should talk to the child's father about this to see how serious his condition really is. You mentioned that his first seizure was a fake, so maybe it's not as bad as he's making it out to be. However, if it truly is serious, try to get him to agree that he shouldn't have 50/50 (and that maybe he should have his time-sharing with other people present, just in case). If he doesn't agree, and if his medical condition really is that serious, then bring it to the court's attention. The child's safety should be #1. Best of luck to you.

  • In Florida does a grandma have rights to see her grandchild if the father doesn't? Can she file something to see her grandchild?ARCHIVED

    Cary’s Answer

    Is the Father in the military and deployed in excess of 90 days? If so, he may designate a person or persons to exercise time-sharing with the child on his behalf. The designation shall be limited to a family member, a stepparent, or a relative of the child by marriage (which would include you as the grandmother). If not, then I agree 100% with my colleague who answered this question before me. Unfortunately, grandparents don't have much to hang their hat on when it comes to their grandchildren. Best of luck to you.

  • What state do I need to contact to divorce her?ARCHIVED

    Cary’s Answer

    Both TX and FL have jurisdiction to grant either of you a divorce. However, the issue here is jurisdiction over your daughter. FL is no longer the home state of your child, considering that she has been living in TX for more than 6 months. This means that, while Florida can go ahead and divorce you, you would need to file a separate case in TX to resolve your child-related issues. It may be wiser to file for divorce in TX in the county your wife lives in with your daughter. That way, you have only one case with one lawyer, and everything gets resolved at the same time. I don't have all of the facts of your case, but this all gets a bit more complicated if you have any real property in FL that needs to be divided. If you do, then TX wouldn't have jurisdiction over those properties. In that case, you would need to have two separate cases anyway: one in TX to resolve the issues regarding your daughter, and then one here to divorce you and resolve the issues of your real property. My suggestion is to sit down with a family law attorney in your area and have a full consultation to determine the best approach. Best of luck to you.