My Girlfriend Left With The Kids

Posted by Gordon Shayne | Mar 07, 2024 | 0 Comments

What Should I do When My Significant Other Fled Our Home with the Children?

If you are involved in a situation where the other parent has fled the joint residence with the children, immediate action is necessary to protect  your rights.

          The first question to answer is what is the 'Home State' of the Children?  The children's 'Home State' is Florida if the children have been in Florida for more than six (6) months. This means that they have lived and gone to school in Florida for at least six (6) consecutive months and this has not been a temporary arrangement. 

          If the other parent takes the children to live in another state, and you did not consent or agree to a permanent relocation, there are significant legal issues at stake. Hiding or keeping a parent from knowing the whereabouts of the children or obstructing a parent's relationship with the children will be given priority by the Florida legal system. In order to get this matter before a Judge, one would file a Petition to Dertermine Paternity Case. Cases where a parent has fled the state of Florida with the children without any prior notice to the other parent, is often times given great priority for the scheduling of a Hearing before the Judge after a case has been filed. The Court will want to know what efforts have been undertaken to personally serve the other parent with the summons and N of any such Hearing before a Judge holds a Hearing of this kind. 

          The law allows a Judge to have the discretion in entering orders that a parent who deprives a parent of the parent-child relationship, or who violates a Court Oder permitting frequent contact between the parent and child, may be subject to “reasonable court costs and attorneys fees incurred by the nonoffending parent to enforce the time-sharing schedule.” 

          Often times, these types of cases will involve various aspects of Florida law that governs a child’s best interests. Emotions run high and tensions are great whenever a parent intentionally creates a barrier in allowing contact with children that have been removed, without authority from Florida. For those reasons, it is highly recommended that a parent who is in such a situation, obtains an experienced lawyer.

About the Author

Gordon Shayne

Gordon N. Shayne Family Law / Divorce Lawyer Phone: (904) 544-6855 Gordon N. Shayne's field of practice is devoted to Family Law/Divorce case throughout the State of Florida


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With over 35 years of experience, Mr. Shayne has had a legal career fighting for the rights of his clients while focusing his practice exclusively on Divorce, Child Custody and other Family Law Matters. Our services are available throughout the State of Florida.

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