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    Dolfin's Avatar
    Dolfin Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 09:49 PM
    Not informed of Court date!
    Hi everyone! This is my first post so please bear with me. I am in divorce proceedings and my husband and I went to mediation already and could not agree on a couple of things. Basically, he has been gone for 3 years and has not even seen our son since. I have major concerns over him having any visitation because our son is Autistic and any change could confuse him now. Plus, the example that he sets is not a positive one by any means. Anyway, bottom line is that we were both supposed to be mailed the date for the final hearing. I never received a court date or any notice and now I received a final judgment that says I did not appear and gives him liberal visitation?? How do I appeal this decision and ask for a retrial so that I can be present to voice my concerns? We were doing this Pro Se... do I need an attorney now? He is the petitioner and I am the respondent. Sorry so long and thank you to anyone who can help.

    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,300, Reputation: 7691

    Apr 21, 2007, 10:07 PM
    You really needed the attorney before, but for sure you need one now ASAP. Since often the time frame to appear varies by location.

    Also I wlll say that I don't know what you were asking for, but the court would have allowed him some level of visitation, I don't know if you were going to supervised visits or what, but to ask for no visits most likely would not have been realistic unless he was a major threat, wanted criminal, drug user, child abuser and the such. You may have asked he completes some classes for the problems and the such.

    But at this point you need to file an appeal.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
    Uber Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 11:49 PM
    I agree that you need an attorney ASAP. How you go about an appeal depends on where you live. It would be good to know where you live.
    Dolfin's Avatar
    Dolfin Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Apr 22, 2007, 09:34 PM
    Me again. Thanks for the responses! Actually, I live in Florida. Basically, my husband (who has not seen my son or I in three years) filed for divorce and had me served at my job on Valentine's Day. (If you are wondering why I did not file first... the reasons are financial as well as religious. As a Christian, I was trying to avoid the divorce but now I see the folly in that.) The paperwork said that I should have sole custody but that he wanted shared parental responsibility. (Our son barely remembers him) Another issue is that the reason I originally asked him to leave the home three years ago was his compulsive addiction to "teen pornography" and "teen chat rooms". He is a 44 year old man and I was 31 at the time. Anyway, I was horrified when I discovered the thousands of hits of this type spanning over two years. (Guess he didn't know about the history button?? ) Anyway, much of his computer activity took place during time when he was supposedly watching our son while I was in an evening class finishing my Bachelor's degree. I don't know what type of attention he could have been paying to our son nor do I want to know. The police Dept became involved but could not arrest him because the word "teen" is a gray area that can include 18 year olds blah blah blah suffice to say that his activity fell through the cracks in the child pornography laws based on a technicality. The officer suggested that I keep the hard drive and all information as evidence in case it was ever needed which I have done. Again, he does not fall into the "known criminal" category but treated me horribly in front of our son. He was verbally abusive and physically intimidating to me in front of our son and the hostile environment was another reason why he had to leave. I never took out a restraining order because he never made contact again so why open a can of worms? Also, I constantly had to stop him from disciplining my son because of things that were Autistic traits and not misbehavior. He is clueless and unwilling to learn anything about the disorder and therefore is not equipped to engage in any decisionmaking about our son. Three years later, our son is well adjusted, happy, and basically over all the dysfunction. And what really hurts me about not being apprised about the Final Hearing is that I suspect that the letter may have been intercepted. He knew that if I showed up he would be sunk. Now, the final decree says that because I "didn't show" he may have liberal visitation and I have waived my right to any post judgement relief. Sorry for my vent and long rant :)
    I will file an appeal as suggested. Thank you sincerely.


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