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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    2

    Default Child's Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Florida and Michigan
    I was living in florida with my childs father when I became pregnant and gave birth to our son. Father and I have never been married and a custody agreement has never been put in place. Father had been cheating on me our whole relationship, I had no family and no support in Florida while living there. In November 2011, I took our 3 month old son back home with me to Michigan. I called the sherriffs office and they said this was completely safe to do and completely lawful. Now my childs father is trying to get sole custody of our son. He made up lies in his petition saying that im severly unstable psychologically and tried to say that I attempted suicide. I DID NOT attempt suicide, my doctor diagnosed me with PPD 4 weeks after our son was born and I am now taking anti-depressants. They also stated that they were the main caregivers for our son when that is completely false. I worked on the weekends so that I could take care of my son all week. I made this move to better myself and my son. I am currently enrolled in school and I have the support of my family to help me. Childs father is always out partying and playing games. My question is: will jurisdiction be held in Florida because thats where the father is and that is where our son was born? What can I do about him making up all of these lies on court documents?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    424

    Default Re: Childs Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    Jurisdiction will be in Florida since that is where the child was born and dad filed before the child lived in Michigan for 6 months.

    You best bet is to hire an attorney in Florida. Dad will have to prove his accusations. You must answer his petition and you can state your case.


    Quote Quoting ddoering0;574966[B
    They [/B]also stated that they were the main caregivers for our son when that is completely false. I worked on the weekends so that I could take care of my son all week.
    Who is "they"?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Childs Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    "They" is the father and his mother.

    What do you think my odds are? This is the best thing for my child and I. I am able to provide statements from multiple people stating that he was never around. I am very scared.. I have a consultation with a lawyer in florida tomorrow but I just need to hear some advice!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Childs Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    Florida is not generally moveaway friendly, unfortunately for you.

    Mom, there is a good chance that you're going to have to make a choice between moving back to Florida, or letting Dad have custody.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5

    Default Re: Childs Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    Whatever he wrote he going to have to prove it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Childs Father Trying to Get Sole Custody

    Father and I have never been married and a custody agreement has never been put in place. Father had been cheating on me our whole relationship
    If he didn't commit to you in the form of marriage, you have no leg to stand on regarding "cheating". Either there's a formal committment, or there's not.


    I called the sherriffs office and they said this was completely safe to do and completely lawful.
    The problem is that a sheriff's deputy or a police officer are NOT attorneys. What they can tell you is whether or not something against CRIMINAL statutes. They have no business giving you advice on FAMILY LAW, which is CIVIL in nature. While they may mean to be helpful, they can give TERRIBLE advice about things outside their areas of expertise, especially in matters of domestic violence and child custody issues which have LOTS of layers, some civil and some criminal. This is why the ONLY person who should ever give you legal advice is YOUR attorney - not a book, or a cop, a social worker, someone who had a "similar" case, or even those of us with a lot of experience in many related fields. ACTIONS should only be based on advice from a LAWYER. With that said, yes, it was LAWFUL to move out of state with the child, in that no crime was being committed by you by doing so. BUT that's very different than it being the GOOD thing to do in the bigger picture of a custody battle - because now dad has an excellent arguement to the court that you are purposefully keeping the child from being able to know and establish a bond with him. Also, dad filed in time to likely keep jurisdiction here in Florida, which means you're going to be travelling for various court dates, AND dad can even ask that the child be RETURNED to Florida until the case works its way through the system. See how there's a HUGE difference between being "legal" and being the "right" thing? Had you addressed the issue with the courts BEFORE leaving, your legal position could have been much stronger, and you wouldn't have to face potential issues with the case being held in Florida or the child potentially ordered to be returned.

    Now my childs father is trying to get sole custody of our son.
    Usually that wouldn't be very likely, because you have been the child's primary care giver. HOWEVER, there is another element here, that of you taking the child out of state, and if dad's attorney comes out on top, the court could order the child to return and remain until the court closes out the custody case (which would mean that either you and the child BOTH return, and dad gets visitation during that time, or if you're unwilling or unable to move back, that dad would get what amounts to sole custody, not because of an order for sole custody, but by default if you can't/won't return also).

    He made up lies in his petition saying that im severly unstable psychologically and tried to say that I attempted suicide. I DID NOT attempt suicide, my doctor diagnosed me with PPD 4 weeks after our son was born and I am now taking anti-depressants. They also stated that they were the main caregivers for our son when that is completely false.
    The burden will be on dad to PROVE any of those things. The court isn't just going to take his word for it.


    I worked on the weekends so that I could take care of my son all week.
    Who had the child on the weekends?

    I made this move to better myself and my son.
    The way the courts see it (in Florida, other states have different track records), betterment of yourself isn't really relevent. What the Florida courts care about are (1) how it betters the CHILD, not the parent, and (2) how it impacts the relationship between the child and the OTHER parent. This is what your attorney will endeavor to convince the court of, while at the same time, dad's attorney is going to make you out to be a vindictive woman who is punishing the father by keeping his child from him. That's generally the crux of cases like these - and as Dogmatique noted, Florida is NOT friendly when it comes to a parent moving a child out of state away from the other parent, especially at an age so young that the child can't reasonably travel for visitation (ie plane, train).


    Childs father is always out partying and playing games.
    But this wasn't an issue enough to stop you from deeming him good enough to be a father to the child. Thus it isn't going to be an issue for the court now.

    My question is: will jurisdiction be held in Florida because thats where the father is and that is where our son was born?
    It'll likely be Florida because that's where the child has lived most of his life, and becase dad was able to file his petition before the child would be considered a resident of the new state. Your attorney can attempt to challenge jurisdiction, but you'll need to discuss with your attorney the pros and cons considering the time, number of hearings (ie money) this might take.

    What can I do about him making up all of these lies on court documents?
    You don't really have to do anything. HE must prove his statements and positions to the court.
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