My friend is involved in a high conflict custody battle that has been going on for 9 years. Her ex is a total sociopath. He's got TONS of money, yet he owes $68,000 in back support. He also pays to hide his money so that on paper it looks like he doesn't make much. His attorney is his best friend and the guardian ad litem and mediators have all been on his side through conflict of interest with of being friends with his attorney. He keeps filing motions to take her back to court, disagrees when she won't bow to his demands in mediation and then says she's unreasonable. The mom has tried to put the son in counseling but the ex always pulls him out and won't allow it. No one sees how awful and abusive he is or they are too scared to stand up to him. What can she do to get some help?
She needs to consult and hire an attorney who is tough enough to handle her case. She could also ask that an attorney for the child be appointed. Beyond these suggestions it is difficult to answer further because there are not enough facts here and you are not actually the litigant. It is great that you are trying to help her and it would be helpful if you went to the new attorney with her and also to court if possible for moral support.
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She probably needs to meet, and have a consultation, with at least 2 or 3 family law attorneys of her choice so that they can review all final judgments, orders, motions and other documents on her file to properly advise her how to proceed with her case and how to defend against the ex's motions. Florida law provides for attorneys' fees from the party who is creating unnecessary litigation in family law.
Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.
4465 Edgewater Dr.,
Orlando, Fla. 32804
Ph.: (407) 649-1404
E-mail: [email protected]
If everyone is on his side (including mediators, who are almost always very fair and see both sides), then maybe she is being unreasonable. Anyway, there is only one way to find out: set his motions for hearing. There are many ways in family law to invoke the "loser pays" rule. Her lawyer should invoke "loser pays" (maybe under Florida Statute 57.105), then set the case for hearing. Whomever is being unreasonable will pay the fees of the other side.
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!
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