I've been in court for 11 months trying to "reunify" with my 10 year old son that I've been estranged from for 5 years. I moved out of state and have been back here four times in the last 7 years and the mother has been making it impossible for me to see him. She has been "non compliant" several times with the reunification and co parenting, has missed the mediation hearing, family court services reunification hearings, and several actual court dates to see the judge. The judge is allowing this to happen with absolute no reprimand. She is now non compliant again with the court ordered visitation and I have taken ONE YEAR off of work to reunify with my son so I can take him back to my home town for the Summer so he can meet the rest of his family whom he's never met. Summer is coming up and I need some assistance. My next court date in on May 3rd. Scott Bernstein is the Judge. The mother has my son against me, and has him lying for her about several issues. He only gets to see me 45 minutes a week if she decides to show up. She has missed 3 visitations in the last 7 weeks. I will be having to go back out of state for work for a couple weeks and may need to hire a lawyer.
Hire an attorney, and if the facts indicate it he or she should file a contempt charge against the mother.
Judge Bernstein is a compassionate and great judge. He listens. You are in good hands. It is difficult to believe that he would allow the continued noncompliance by your child's mother.
You should have kept a record of all of the noncompliances in order to be prepared for the hearing. Also, contact Family Court Services to see if someone there will come to court to testify about your compliance and your child's mother's noncompliances.
Good for you to pursue a reunification plan! Your son will thank you some day. It may take awhile, but - if you do your best to parent him and don't say anything negative about his mother - he will thank you. Remember, he is totally dependent on his mother. If you say something bad about her, he will defend her because she is all he has for his day to day parenting.
You have time to hire an attorney for the May 3rd hearing, and I strongly urge you to do so.
If the mother is non-compliant with an ordered time-sharing arrangement, this would go toward a possible change in the time-sharing. It certainly is not in the best interest of the child to be withheld from a willing and able parent. Our Florida statutes are clear stating that both parents should share in the joys of child rearing, and that both parents should enjoy frequent and continuous contact with minor children.
I would highly recommend that you have an initial consultation with a competent, professional, ethical, family law lawyer who can provide you with legal counsel, advice and guidance regarding the specific facts of your situation.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline