divorce law

My Girlfriend Violated Felony Probation and Took Our Kid Out of State


What can I do if my girlfriend violated felony probation took our 3yr old and went to a different state no custody order?
Because of her warrant she lost her disability checks and all benefits for 3yr old my ex is also HIV & HEP C positive because of warrant lost access to her HIV meds my 3yr old and I are negative for HIV & HEP C I am birth father and I am on the birth certificate

Joseph Gufford:
You need to file a Paternity/Parental Responsibility action coupled with an Emergency Motion for the Return of the Child. I would also advise law enforcement and DCF of the situation.

Categories: child custody law, child relocation in Florida, Family Law Staurt, parental relocation in Florida | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Can I move out of State with my child?

Question: Can I move out of state if I have a child and have been separated from his father 3 years but are still legally married? We have a child support order already but no custody agreement. My sons lives with me full time

Joseph Gufford Child Custody Attorney Stuart

The short answer to the question is Yes. You can go with your child wherever you want to so long as there is no court order in place that prevents you from doing so. The real answer is that if you did leave the state with the child, you could be placing yourself in a difficult legal situation as Florida would be the home state of the child until such time as you had lived outside the state with the child for 6 months. The relocation statute could come into play. 61.13001. Thus, while you probably can leave, it might not be best to do so without getting things in place properly before you go.

Categories: child custody law, child relocation in Florida, parental relocation in Florida | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

How do I begin a divorce?


My spouse committed adultery and i want to divorce him. i have a 6 month old child he has not seen since he was born due to living 4 hrs away. He hasnt helped me financially with him what so ever. he says he wants custody of him but i have a domestic charge against him and dont trust him with my child. also, he has my car that is in both our names which i have been paying for since we financed it– he says he will wreck it before giving it to me. I want to start my divorce process as soon as possible just dont know where or how to start.

Joseph Gufford Family Law Lawyer Stuart, Florida

The adultery issue is probably not a significant issue for the court as Florida is a “no fault divorce” state. There are some limited circumstances in which it might be applicable. The more significant issue is the domestic violence. That is a significant factor that needs to be addressed. You need an experienced family law attorney to assist you with navigating your way through this process.

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Should I Tell My Spouse or Significant Other that I am Filing for Divorce or Custody or that I Hired a Lawyer

This is a very common question that I get when clients consult with me regarding a divorce, child custody case or other family law matter.  Of course, filing a divorce or custody matter is a very significant event in your life and most people feel that they should  tell the other party  that they are  going to file a lawsuit. My general advice to most of my clients is not to tell the other party.  The reason for this is:

  1.  The other party starts changing their behavior like closing bank accounts, starting situations that may result in domestic violence situations, wanting more time with the children, etc.
  2. It results in additional fighting, arguments and general discord in the family; These fights typically go nowhere other than nonsensical arguments about issues that my not be relevant to the resolution of the case.
  3.  The other party may attempt to hide and avoid service of process to delay the action while they move assets or actually take off with the children to another state.

We have had several cases lately where exactly these types of behaviors have occurred.  The results have been additional time and expense to the client in either locating the other party for service of process, domestic violence injunctions filed by the other party to get an upper hand in the proceeding or the actual waste and dissipation of marital assets.  Another important point to remember is that once a  family law case is filed in the 19th Judicial Circuit,  the court usually enters what is called a Standing Temporary Domestic Relations Order that is supposed to prevent this type of behavior. It goes into effect on the Petitioner once the case is filed. It goes into effect on the Respondent, once they have been served.  Thus, filing the case and getting it served on the other party is of paramount importance.

Categories: divorce law, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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