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Desperately seeking direction in filing for custody in Florida


I am desperately seeking direction on filing for custody in Florida. My ex and I (never married) have 2 girls aged 15 and 7 who currently reside with him in Orange county while I live in Seminole county. I am attempting to file for custody because he has been keeping the girls from me and will not answer calls, texts or emails because he says the girls don't want anything to do with me and that they want to live with him. He's had them tell me this over the phone as well as through voicemails and texts which i saved. I've never given up rights to my children nor abandoned them or neglected. Over the past 5 years since we split up they have resided in both of our homes for various amounts of time and have received care from us both. Currently I have not seen my children since Dec 2015. What can I do in regards to getting custody/visitation rights while litigating? I was told by an attorney about a form or Myron I could file for that. I was also told by another attorney to file for majority of the custody, is that usually recommended? Also I had an instance about 5 years ago shortly after the split up in which I mentioned suicide to him. It resulted in him calling the cops and they took me to a behavioral center for a couple hours to be evaluated but I was released same day. Could this have any bearing on whether I will get custody or visitation? I have since held down a job for over 4 years and a place of residence. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Comments for Desperately seeking direction in filing for custody in Florida

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Parenting Plan/ Child Custody
by: Ruth Tick

In general minors have the right to have relationships with both parents, unless there are certain circumstances present. The circumstances that could prevent a parent having contact with a child include domestic violence, child neglect or abuse, and criminal activity.

Also, in general, when parents are unwed child custody is with the mother. Unless paternity has been established through the family court. A Petition to Determine Custody and Related Relief is filed which ultimately names the father as the legal father with full paternal rights and responsibilities. Until that process is completed, the mother, technically, retains child custody.

My suggestion is to file a Petition to Determine Paternity and Related Relief and attach a proposed Parenting Plan. This process is similar to a divorce for people who were never married, but have a child together. The Parenting Plan is a schedule of child timeshareing/ custody/ visitation that can be enforced through the courts.

As far as your having threatened suicide several years ago, you may need to undergo a psychological evaluation at some point to show that you are no longer suicidal.

A 15 year old's wishes as to which parent she wants to be with may be considered by the court, however the wishes of a 7 year old probably would not be considered.

My response is NOT legal advice. This is information which is readily available online, if you know where to look.

If you would like assistance with document preparation, please contact me directly at 941-237-0951 or visit my site

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