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How should I add more contempt charges while awaiting a hearing for contempt in less than a month?

Tallahassee, FL |

I filed contempt charges against my ex and a motion to modify custody. I am awaiting trial. Pretrial is coming up in less than a month and the judge will hear the contempt charges then. This last week my ex husbands girlfriend changed my sons primary care physician, scheduled and attentended his first appointment at her children's doctor without notifying me. I want to bring this in and have my ex charged with contempt for this along with the other charges. Do I have to file a motion? Or can I bring it up in the hearing? Also, I don't want to postpose the pretiral hearing. So if I do file a motion, will I be able to have it heard if there is less than twenty days to respond or request it be heard at trial in May? Thank you This is a 50/50 custody arrangement.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

I assume you previously filed a motion for contempt. If you want to add an additional basis for holding your ex in contempt, you can generally do so by amending your previously-filed motion to include the new allegations. You can then file a notice of hearing on your "Amended Motion for Contempt," as opposed to the original motion. You have to do this a reasonable time before the scheduled hearing. And, there has to be adequate time set aside to hear all of the issues. Normally, if the court cannot hear all of the contempt issues at the scheduled time, the remainder can be heard at the final hearing. Make sure that there is an express provision in a temporary order, parenting plan, or final judgment that prohibits changing the child's doctor. Absent express language, many judges are hesitant to find a parent in contempt, as a contempt finding requires a willful violation of a clear order. Of course, even in the absence of express language, you could file a motion to prohibit it from happening again.



Thank you...the court order states that all major decision including but not limited to medical and education be discussed and approved by both parents.

Richard James Mockler III

Richard James Mockler III


I would file the motion as one for contempt or alternatively for enforcement. In my view, changing the pediatrician should be considered a "major decision." If the court doesn't want to hold dad in contempt, the court can at least order him not to do it again.


As for adding additional contempt expenses to your motion for consideration by the court, if you wish to make it a part of the court record so it doesn't appear "new" to the judge you can file a copy of the receipts of these documents with the court under a Notice of Filing Supplemental Expenses for Consideration in pending Motion for Contempt, for instance.

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