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I have a letter notarized from our court ordered therapist that recommends sole parental and supervised visitation for my ex

West Palm Beach, FL |

can I file a temporary relief motion while working on the petition to modify or do I have to file the petition to modify and then the temporary relief? Or, should I be filing an emergency motion to suspend visitation? Most of the issues are neglect or safety like driving around in the trunk of a hatchback, making a 50 pound kid sit in front with no carseat, but also he made it clear he will and has lied to the court, the therapist and whomever else to see his kids. (Told this to the therapist repeatedly when caught in a lie about the kids while with him.

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Attorney answers 3


Emergency motions are for life threatening situations or a parent removing a child from the jurisdiction of the court. Go to your county's website and check the administrative orders. If you have an open case you may be able to do this by motion. If you case is closed you will have to file a petition to modify. I suggest you get an attorney.

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Heather Morcroft

Heather Morcroft


A notarized letter is not admissible evidence. You will have to call the therapist as a witness at an evidentiary hearing.


The Supplemental Petition for Modification would need to be filed first then the Motion for Temporary Relief. You could file an Emergency Motion but it is likely to be denied as the issues you are describing are not immediately life treating. In addition, be aware that you will need the actual testimony of the therapist as the letter would be inadmissible under the proper objection and to obtain the testimony of the therapist a guardian ad litem may need to be appointed for the child to decide whether the patient/therapist privacy privilege should be waived for the child in this instance.


Daniel Bachert, Esq.
The Bachert Law Firm, P.A.
330 Clematis Street, Suite 222
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
(561) 653-3951

Please be aware and advised that this public forum is designed to provide only general information, to give you a basis of legal knowledge. This public forum does not give you attorney-client privilege. You and I have not entered into an attorney-client relationship. I am not responsible for your legal rights and this answer is based solely on the information you have provided in your question and as always, I would advise that you arrange for an in person consultation with an attorney from my firm or another Family Law attorney familiar with Florida Family Law who can analyze the specific facts and circumstances of your case more closely to better advise you.


I understand that you want to modify your time-sharing arrangement. I do not know whether driving the child around without a car seat will amount to a substantial change in circumstances necessary to modify your final judgment. You should consult with an attorney in your area regarding the other issues you have experienced. And, you should also ask the attorney how you might prove the alleged transgressions using admissible evidence (since you say he's a "liar," you can't expect him to admit to anything).

Finally, if you decide to go forward with the supplemental petition, in addition to requesting that the court reduce his time-sharing, remember to ask for the specific modifications that you desire, such as requiring his use of a booster or car seat until the appropriate age and other safety measures that the court is likely to view as necessary.