Posts

Lie in Hernando County Family Law Court Leads to Jail Time

According to a report in the Tampa Bay Times, a woman in a Hernando County Family Law Court was seeking to get a domestic violence restraining order against her mother when she made some odd statements.  When asked about her extensive criminal background, the woman claimed that she was a DEA agent.

Hernando County Judge Stephen E. Toner gave the woman several opportunities to change her testimony, but she did not.  The family law judge then requested that the Sheriff’s Office check on the woman’s claim, which turned out to be bogus, and the woman was found to be in contempt of court and sentenced to 5 months and 29 days in jail.

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Video: Kansas Capital Decriminalizes Domestic Violence

In a move that has unleashed outrage throughout the country, the Kansas’ capital city has repealed municipal criminal laws against domestic violence, resulting in suspects in domestic violence cases avoiding prosecution.

In Florida, victims of domestic violence may file for restraining orders, also known as injunctions, in civil court.  Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, broadly defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”    You may file a petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence if you have been the victim of an act of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe that you are in imminent danger of becoming of victim.

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How Do I Discuss My Divorce With My Child?

Once a couple makes the decision to separate or divorce, one of the most difficult steps will be to discuss this decision with a child.  Risa Garon, a licensed clinical social worker, certified mediator, and Executive Director of the National Family Resiliency Center, Inc., provides the following advice regarding how to discuss an impending separation or divorce with a child:

1. Before you tell the children, speak to your spouse and decide what you will tell the children. Both parents should have the opportunity to speak.

2. Say what you think will be most helpful to them. Many parents want to tell exactly what happened in their adult relationship to their children. Parents can explain to their children how what they want to tell them will help them in understanding the separation.

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Mixed Martial Artist Chuck Liddell Requests “Full Custody” of Child. What Should You Request?

TMZ.com reports that retired mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell requested “full custody” of his child in a California courtroom:

Chuck Liddell Requests "Full Custody"

Chuck Liddell Requests “Full Custody”

Chuck Liddell is in an L.A. courtroom asking a judge for full custody of his son, after the boy allegedly told him he didn’t want to live with his mom anymore.

Sources tell us 12-year-old Cade was visiting Chuck from Colorado, where he lives with [his] mom, Lori Geyer.  Chuck claims the boy was depressed and upset and didn’t want to go back.  And, Chuck says, Cade complained that he was “living with a severe toothache for 2 to 3 months.”

Chuck took Cade to a dentist, but feels his son’s “health and safety are at risk.”

Chuck’s lawyer mentioned in court the boy was allegedly abused by being forced to perform physical labor — including snow removal.

Though I frequently use the term “custody” when explaining family law issues to clients, the fact is that Florida courts no longer rule on “custody.”  Instead, a Florida judge will enter an order concerning “time-sharing” and “parental responsibility.”

Though this may seem like mere semantics, it is important to know what to ask for, and what a judge will grant.

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Secretly Recording A Spouse Has A Price: $120,000.00

An article from Ars Technica discusses a woman who secretly put a recording device in a teddy bear to prove allegations that her estranged spouse was mistreating their daughter.  Not only did the family law court rule that the recordings were inadmissible, but the husband (“Duke”) sued the wife (“Dianna”) in federal court for, among other things, violation of the federal Wiretap Act.  From the article:

When Duke filed the federal lawsuit against Dianna in 2009, he also rounded up five other plaintiffs whose conversations had been recorded by the bear. One plaintiff, a cousin of Duke’s, at one point had the bear in his van for several days after it was left there accidentally; the cousin, going through his own divorce at the time, was upset that his conversations had been recorded and eventually distributed to people involved with Duke and Dianna’s custody case.

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Charlie Sheen Domestic Violence Allegations

I generally shy away from celebrity gossip news, but Charlie Sheen has been plastering the airwaves in a pitched battle with everyone from his former wife, Brooke Mueller, to the president of CBS.  Not surprisingly, his former spouse filed a petition for injunction against domestic violence against Sheen.  The Smoking Gun has published the text of Mueller’s declaration in support of her petition.

Video: The Family Law Project – Domestic Violence

The following video from Aspen Publishers provides a general overview of issues discussed in domestic violence proceedings.  To clarify, the “protective orders” and “restraining orders” described in the video are referred to as “injunctions” under Florida law:

Please keep in mind that domestic violence statutes vary from state to state.

Restrictions on Time-Sharing

Sometimes–such as when there is a history of domestic violence–courts order restrictions on time-sharing.  A video from GetLegal describes options that are available for restricted time-sharing.

Restraining Orders in Florida

Florida law provides for four different types of violence-related restraining orders–also known as “injunctions”–for various circumstances:  (i) domestic violence; (ii) sexual violence; (iii) dating violence; and (iv) repeat violence.  The following video from the Pinellas County Clerk of the Court explains the circumstances for which each type of injunction may be appropriate:

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (known as the “UCCJEA”) is the body of law that provides Florida courts with authority to rule on issues of child custody.  In virtually every family law proceeding that involves child custody–including divorce, paternity, and relocation–each party is required to file an affidavit that contains certain information and demonstrates to the court that it has jurisdiction over the child. This UCCJEA affidavit must include the following information:

  • The current address of the child;
  • Each address at which the child has lived during the past five years;

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