Question:

What happens when dad quits job to avoid more support ?

Answer:

You have a few strategies you can employ for this. You can ask that the Court impute his income at the median wage for his locality. If he already has a Court Order for child support, you would hold him in Contempt of non-payment and you will need to present or ask him what stops him from being able to be gainfully employed. To be held in contempt for non-payment of child support you will need to show that he willfully failed to comply. There is a presumption in child support cases that, based on the prior court order and his failure to seek relief from the Court, that he has the ability to comply. You can subpoena his loan application on his car to assist you in proving his actual income as well.

Attorney Erin E. Morse

Question:

Is there a law for prenatal abandonment in Florida?

Answer:

Under Florida law, in order to increase the amount of support you have to file a petition for modification, and you would be limited to any retroactive support to two years before the date of filing of the petition. However, if you had a parenting plan that gave timesharing to mom and she did not exercise it there is a very narrow exception where the law allows you to argue that you could have increased child support since the date when the other parent stopped taking the time sharing. So, of course it would be important that you take the time to speak with an attorney and make sure that your particular circumstances could meet this factual basis to figure out if it would be worth it. There’s a chance it may not be worth it. In any event, in order to receive any relief, you will need to file before your children’s 18th birthday. Additionally, because one of your children has reached the age of majority you may be unable to recover for that child, but there are some circumstances where it could be analyzed retroactively.

Attorney Erin E. Morse

Question:

Do both parties have to be present at final hearing for an uncontested divorce?

Answer:

If you are Pro Se, and you have all of your documents properly complete and notarized, only one person has to show up at the final hearing — it must be the person who filed the petition. Additionally, many counties are offering virtual hearings and many judges are willing to do this. So, your spouse could appear virtually if you requested. The person who needs to show up is the person who filed a petition. Alternatively, if there is a counter petition than the person who filed the counter petitioner could be present. In any case, if one of the spouses wants their name changed to their maiden name, they must appear at the final hearing.

Attorney Erin E. Morse

Question: Is there a law for prenatal abandonment in Florida?

Answer:

In Florida, failing to provide support while the mother is pregnant is not grounds to terminate parental rights. A paternity action to establish parental rights can only be filed after the minor child is born. Because it’s required that a name and a date of birth and a place of birth be included in a uniform custody jurisdiction and enforcement act affidavit. Without a name, date of birth, and place of birth a case can’t be filed in Florida. In the event that a paternity case is filed, after the birth of the child, the mother can seek reimbursement for medical bills incident to the pregnancy in the same way as which retroactive child support could be sought. Florida is generally a no fault state and therefore him blackmailing you may not have an incredible amount of remedy. However, if he is a drug user, and his poor behavior in blackmailing, and other aggressive type behavior could be analyzed by the Court as a reason to not have shared parental responsibility.

It sounds like the best thing you can do at this time is make sure that you are safe and away from him. The father has no legal rights to a minor child in the state of Florida until he files a paternity case and gets a court to order that he is first the legal father of the minor child and second has parental responsibility and slash or timesharing. Legally, the mother of a child born when the parties are not married is in the custody of only the mother.

Attorney Erin E. Morse

Question: What is likely to happen if my ex is a no-show to a contempt hearing?

Answer:

If your ex does not show at a contempt hearing, and it was properly noticed, the court can Grant the contempt even with him not being present. There are a few more legal hurdles you would have to follow in order for it to happen but the court could issue a bench warrant for his arrest. Now, this usually doesn’t happen at the first hearing, but if you plead it and request it properly it could happen to subsequent hearings. Generally, in order to change timesharing (because, our courts don’t use the phrase custody anymore“ you have to file a petition for modification and you need to make sure that you have a substantial and an anticipated change in circumstances. You can build your case, and a series of contempt would be very good reason for there to be good cause for a modification.

Attorney Erin E. Morse