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  1. #1
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction

    My attorney filed an Appeal for Modification of Custody on 12/29/05. I just looked at the online docket for the DCA and found that a Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction has been filed yesterday on my case and another case the attorney filed an Appeal on the same date as mine. What is a Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction and why would this be filed??? I can't reach the lawyer as I know you'll tell me to ask him Thanks in advance.
  2. #2
    acmb05 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ice5146
    My attorney filed an Appeal for Modification of Custody on 12/29/05. I just looked at the online docket for the DCA and found that a Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction has been filed yesterday on my case and another case the attorney filed an Appeal on the same date as mine. What is a Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction and why would this be filed??? I can't reach the lawyer as I know you'll tell me to ask him Thanks in advance.
    Have you moved from the state that the original order was given in?
  3. #3
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    My Final Judgment was in FL. My children still live in FL. I had a trial for Modification of Custody in FL which I lost. Case appealed. I have lived in PA since before the Modification of Custody motion was even Filed. In other words, the attorneys and Trial Judge have always known I was living in PA and I even fly to all depo's, mediation, and Final Hearing.
  4. #4
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    4th Child Support Contempt Hearing Since Appeal Filed

    My Modification of Custody Appeal was Filed 12/205. In the Final Judgement issued in Modification of Custody case in Nov 2005, Judge Ordered that Child Support increased and that Attorney Fees and Arrearages be heard at a later time. Case was Appealed leaving me to pay a monthly support obligation calculated incorrectly on Financial Affidavit.

    My Attorney filed Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction from DCA so I could have the child support obligation lowered to what is should be according to my Tax Return and Amended Financial Affidavit. As soon as the DCA Relinquished Jurisdiction back to Trial Court, opposing Counsel Filed Motion for Contempt (me not paying the figure Trial Judge Ordered), On-going Support, Attorney Fees and Arrearages.

    I go to Court on all Motions in April 2006. Judge is running late and my Attorney and ex's Attorney come to an agreement of an amount of child support I should pay according to my Amended Financial Affidavit and an amount of Attorney Fees ex's Attorney wanted which was 65% of total Invoice for his services for ex during Modification of Custody/Increased Support case.

    The Judge signs the Order in May 2006 for the slightly lowered child support (from original Final Judgement issued in Nov 2005) and he awarded 5500.00 in Attorney's Fees to ex. When I received the Order, I immediatley paid 2 months of child support based on the recalcuated Order leaving me 60 days to pay the 5500.00 in Attorney's Fees directly to opposing counsel.

    After I pay the 2 months child support in May, one month was current and I paid one month early, I receive an Order to appear in Court in June for On-going Child Support, Arrearages and again, Attorney Fees. Apparently, the amount of child support the Attorney's agreed to was not sufficient to my ex and his Attorney and they wanted Arrearages established. The June Hearing rolls around and the Judge did not make a ruling.

    I receive an Order in July for Contempt of Court, On-going Child Support, Arrearages and Attorney Fees telling me I have an Aug Hearing. Aug 30th rolls around and opposing Counsel doesn't make it to the Hearing because he was in court running late for another Hearing. Again, no ruling on issues.

    I now have a F O U R T H Hearing in December for Contempt, Attorney Fees, On-going Child Support but the Arrearages have been left out of this latest Motion. My Business Expenses were never calculated into the mix for my Net Income. My Attorney advised me I had to complete a new Financial Affidavit before the 1st Contempt Hearing in April. I completed it annotating Business Expenses. He Filed the Affidavit one day before the Hearing. When the lawyers agreed on my new child support and the Attorney Fee amount, I thought that was the end of it and my case could now move forward in Appeals for my Modification of Custody.

    It is my understanding that my case can not move forward in Appeals as long as my Attorney continues to Motion for Relinquishment of Jurisdiction to get my child support, arrearages, and Attorney Fees established in Trial Court. I have told my Attorney to just have the Judge rule on SOMETHING as far as a figure so I can move forward w/ Appeals. Attorney said I will defiinitely get the custody reversed due to me not having to prove Detriment any longer in FL in spite of Wade Decision.

    At the Dec 2006 Hearing, ex's Attorney Filed Motion for Sentencing upon Disposition of Finding of Contempt, On-going Child Support and Attorneys Fees. My complete Tax Returns, YTD Paystub, Itemized Detailed Listing of Business Expenses and Amended Financial Affidavit have been Disclosed BEFORE my last Hearing in August to my Attorney and ex's Attorney.

    I feel like the Motions for Contempt are continually getting Filed in an attempt to keep my Appeals case from moving forward. My Attorney is doing nothing but showing up in Court to represent me at the last 3 Hearings and absolutely nothing is being heard by the Judge and therefore nothing is being ruled on by Judge. In the meantime, I'm being charged 300.00 an hour by my Attorney in which he Invoices me monthly for over 1000.00 and nothing is being done on my case but representation for ongoing Contempt Motions. Isn't there due process that says they can't keep doing this just to avoid the Appeals? How long can they continue to file Motion after Motion and no ruling be made while my case just sits there?
  5. #5
    weenor is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ice5146 View Post
    My Modification of Custody Appeal was Filed 12/205. In the Final Judgement issued in Modification of Custody case in Nov 2005, Judge Ordered that Child Support increased and that Attorney Fees and Arrearages be heard at a later time. Case was Appealed leaving me to pay a monthly support obligation calculated incorrectly on Financial Affidavit.

    My Attorney filed Motion to Relinquish Jurisdiction from DCA so I could have the child support obligation lowered to what is should be according to my Tax Return and Amended Financial Affidavit. As soon as the DCA Relinquished Jurisdiction back to Trial Court, opposing Counsel Filed Motion for Contempt (me not paying the figure Trial Judge Ordered), On-going Support, Attorney Fees and Arrearages.

    I go to Court on all Motions in April 2006. Judge is running late and my Attorney and ex's Attorney come to an agreement of an amount of child support I should pay according to my Amended Financial Affidavit and an amount of Attorney Fees ex's Attorney wanted which was 65% of total Invoice for his services for ex during Modification of Custody/Increased Support case.

    The Judge signs the Order in May 2006 for the slightly lowered child support (from original Final Judgement issued in Nov 2005) and he awarded 5500.00 in Attorney's Fees to ex. When I received the Order, I immediatley paid 2 months of child support based on the recalcuated Order leaving me 60 days to pay the 5500.00 in Attorney's Fees directly to opposing counsel.

    After I pay the 2 months child support in May, one month was current and I paid one month early, I receive an Order to appear in Court in June for On-going Child Support, Arrearages and again, Attorney Fees. Apparently, the amount of child support the Attorney's agreed to was not sufficient to my ex and his Attorney and they wanted Arrearages established. The June Hearing rolls around and the Judge did not make a ruling.

    I receive an Order in July for Contempt of Court, On-going Child Support, Arrearages and Attorney Fees telling me I have an Aug Hearing. Aug 30th rolls around and opposing Counsel doesn't make it to the Hearing because he was in court running late for another Hearing. Again, no ruling on issues.

    I now have a F O U R T H Hearing in December for Contempt, Attorney Fees, On-going Child Support but the Arrearages have been left out of this latest Motion. My Business Expenses were never calculated into the mix for my Net Income. My Attorney advised me I had to complete a new Financial Affidavit before the 1st Contempt Hearing in April. I completed it annotating Business Expenses. He Filed the Affidavit one day before the Hearing. When the lawyers agreed on my new child support and the Attorney Fee amount, I thought that was the end of it and my case could now move forward in Appeals for my Modification of Custody.

    It is my understanding that my case can not move forward in Appeals as long as my Attorney continues to Motion for Relinquishment of Jurisdiction to get my child support, arrearages, and Attorney Fees established in Trial Court. I have told my Attorney to just have the Judge rule on SOMETHING as far as a figure so I can move forward w/ Appeals. Attorney said I will defiinitely get the custody reversed due to me not having to prove Detriment any longer in FL in spite of Wade Decision.

    At the Dec 2006 Hearing, ex's Attorney Filed Motion for Sentencing upon Disposition of Finding of Contempt, On-going Child Support and Attorneys Fees. My complete Tax Returns, YTD Paystub, Itemized Detailed Listing of Business Expenses and Amended Financial Affidavit have been Disclosed BEFORE my last Hearing in August to my Attorney and ex's Attorney.

    I feel like the Motions for Contempt are continually getting Filed in an attempt to keep my Appeals case from moving forward. My Attorney is doing nothing but showing up in Court to represent me at the last 3 Hearings and absolutely nothing is being heard by the Judge and therefore nothing is being ruled on by Judge. In the meantime, I'm being charged 300.00 an hour by my Attorney in which he Invoices me monthly for over 1000.00 and nothing is being done on my case but representation for ongoing Contempt Motions. Isn't there due process that says they can't keep doing this just to avoid the Appeals? How long can they continue to file Motion after Motion and no ruling be made while my case just sits there?

    You need a new lawyer. All support and arrearage issues should have been handled at the 1st settlement you arrived at back in April. Quite frankly there is no excuse for any issues being open. Make sure you are paying as per the most recent Order.
  6. #6
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    I understand on the new Attorney. The only reason I have not elected to fire him is because before each and every Hearing he says we'll be fine and everything will be taken care of in my favor to include the correct, lowered child support amount and moving forward with Appeals.

    The huge issue lies in the fact the Judge signed an Order in May according to the agreement the Attorney's came to, not according to any evidence presented at the Hearing to included my complete tax returns, YTD paystub, Business Deductions and Amended Financial Affidavit. I never even got to attend any of the past 3 Hearing by Phone as I was instructed to do. He just signed the Order and the amount of support he ruled on is an amount I can't pay and not based on competent, substantial evidence of my ability to pay.

    I was able to pay 2 months of it, that's it. I put that on a credit card. According to my income since beginning of the 2006 and unreimbursed business expenses, my support obligation should be lower than the amount ordered BEFORE my Custody Modification Motion was Filed in Aug 2003. Attorney faxed me the Income Worksheets he prepared and the support obligation was 200.00 less than original obligtion I was paying before Custody Hearing. My Ex earns substantially more than he did when I filed for Modification and I earn substantially less.

    Since the Judge did not rule on a lesser amount at the June Hearing and he blew it off again at the Aug Hearing, I'm going to court for Sentencing in Dec for a child support obligation I can't pay.

    As far as the Appeals, can my case remain indefinitely before an Initial Brief is Filed by my Attorney or is there some sort of timeframe that issues should be corrected w/ the Relinquishment of Jurisdiction? I appreciate your help.
  7. #7
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    You have to look at this objectively.
    What was your income at the time of the divorce and upon which the child support order was originally ordered? _________________
    You do realize if your income has changed and it is considered voluntary the court may still impute the larger amount no matter what your tax returns say.
    What is the original child support order? _____________
    What is your adjusted income ? _______________
    What is the the agreed child support? _____________
    What do you think it shoul dbe? _________________
    How much has your attorney cost you? ______________
    How much are travel and other court costs, not ex's Atty Fees? _____________
    Is it worth it?
  8. #8
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "is it worth it?" I'm into my Attorney over 20k in Fees plus 4500.00 on a Psych Eval. I have spent over 1000.00 in travel to appear at Depo, Mediation, and Final Hearing.

    I made about 15k higher the past 2 years than I did when Custody changed to my ex-husband. The agreed upon amount of child support between us when custody changed was 650.00 per month. No income docs produced from either of us, simply agreed upon amount.

    When I filed for Modification of Custody in Aug 2003, I had to complete a Financial Affidavit. On that Financial Affidavit, there was no where for me to include Business Expenses and my Attorney didn't advise me to add them anywhere. He filed the Affidavit showing I made a substantial increase in income. I had to complete another Financial before my Final Hearing in Apr 2005. Again, no where for me to add Business Expenses and therefore I did not. Being naive to the legal procedure of how child support is calculated and not ever expected not to win my custody case, I did not even question how my Financial was completed and Filed. I came to find out AFTER the Final Hearing in which the Judge ordered an increase in support over 4 times my original amount that the Attorney's secretary typed a figure for monthly taxes I pay that was only 1/4 the figure that should have been on the Financial and there was no business expenses listed.

    The Judge had an incorrect Financial and ruled on an amount of support. Due to no fault of my own, my attorney should have looked over the Financial and realized the tax amount was a fraction of what I was paying and he should have instructed me to add my business expenses in. He did not. I did not see the Financial Affidavit before it was Filed. The secretary had me sign the last page and told me she'd make all corrections. The reason for the Relinquishment from the DCA was for my case to be heard to correct the mistake. Instead, his attorney files Motion after Motion on me. I didn't even know he could File Motions while I have a case in Appeals???

    Is there a timeframe that my case can just hang out in Appeals and me get taken to court over and over for the same issues? This doesn't seem like it's legal?
  9. #9
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    While I am not thrilled with your attorney....who I believe has done a very poor job for you....part of the problem is completely YOUR fault.

    There certainly was a spot on the affidavit for your income. If you are self employed your income is not and never was your gross income. Your income is your gross minus business expenses. You didn't need a spot on the form for your business expenses, those should have been deducted before you ever entered an income amount.

    Don't you look at your annual tax returns to find out what your actual income is? Have you seriously explained all of this to your attorney? If you have, then you have a very bad attorney in my opinion.

    However, you also don't properly understand your own finances, and that will cause you problems in many different areas, not just child support.

    I suggest that you consider getting yourself some accounting software so that you can properly track your income. Quickbooks/Quickstart is a good program and is affordable. Any self employed person should be able to state what their exact income is each month. However, they cannot do that unless they are properly tracking their gross minus expenses.
  10. #10
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    I took the time to review your early threads and it would seem that your petition to modify custody, effectively making you CP and dad NCP lacked sufficient cause, which in turn opened up the issue of increased child support. This was compounded by the fact that you have not lived in FL for over 5 years and your attorney was not ready to present caselaw supporting your case in the 10 days allowed.

    Unless there is significant reason, few courts will change custody when it means that the children will be removed from the state and all that they have known. I don't know how you became NCP or why you moved to PA, but these will be factors also. Entering such petition and expecting to win without clear proof that the other parent is unfit is unlikely to win and very likely to open up the increased child support issue, somehting your attorney must have advised you in the begining. These types of litigtion are costly and an emotional goal is seldom acheived. Your odds of winning an appeal are slim at best and you need to look at your return on investment. It is long past the time to modify your mistakes unless they are already covered in your pledings and the time to make your major decisions was when you decided to move away.
  11. #11
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    Thank you both for taking the time to reply to my questions. I do appreciate that. LDIJ, I'm a loan officer and I completely understand every aspect of my earnings, tax returns and business expenses. I can't be in my profession if I don't understand my own scenario. I said in the post that I was naive to the way child support was calculated. It's not like my attorney sat me down in front of the his computer with the lawyer's worksheet on the screen and said ok, "here's how we fill in this spot and here's what goes in this spot and by the way, I have software that calculates the actual amount you should be paying as Head of Household with such and such exemptions." In not even in FL to sit down with him, I'm in PA. I'm sure you get what I mean.

    My attorney gave me his Financial Affidavit to complete that was printed off his computer from his office. This is not the same Financial the Supreme Court uses. On my attorney's Financial, the first line says GROSS WAGES OR SALARY. I put zero since I'm commission only. The second line says BONUS, COMMISSION, OR TIPS. I put my W-2'd earnings next to that line. No one at his office instructed me to put commission less business expenses so therefore I didn't. I'm a residential branch manager and licensed in my own name to do mortgages. I'm under a Corp umbrella so they pay 1/2 OASDI. I am required to pay 100% of all expenses to write loans. Honestly, I really do have a grip on my income and expenses.

    Rmet...I know you took the time to respond now and in the past. Just to clarify, I'm not from FL. My ex and I were separated while he was stationed in Turkey, him there and me in PA, my home of record. Once he came back to the states, I moved with him to FL w/ 3 kids due to his military Orders. We got a divorce and I got custody of kids. After 3 years and him living 5 minutes from my home, he Filed for full custody. I had 21 days to retain an attorney and absolutely, 100%, could not come up or did I know anyone that would loan me 3k to retain a custody attorney. I spoke to 2 firms for a free consultations and both lawyers told me to just let him have primary residence because if it goes to court it will be drawn out with school interviews, supervisor interviews, etc. and if he happened to win, he'd get 1800.00 per month from me in support and I was only earning under 50k at that time. I agreed to let the children live with him and he agreed to let me see them whenever I wanted. I never got the children removed and never lost them in a Hearing, it was a mutal agreement and he was basically my neighbor. I was backed into a corner and didn't have support in FL or by family in PA to do anything about it.

    I filed for modification of custody in 2003 not because ex was unfit but because there was a substantial change in circumstance, he was attempting an almost did alienate my children and it was in their best interest to move back with me as my relationship with them was being deteriorated by him and his new wife. I could go on for hours on everything he said and did but I won't. My ass got nailed to the wall when he lied through his teeth on the Psych Eval and the children did too because they were afraid of telling the truth they told me after the fact. Yes, they admitted to lying to the evaluator. His current wife lied too saying he was not abusive and didn't have a drinking problem.

    Now, I come to find out there is no requirement to prove detriment any longer in FL and there absolultely is a substantial change in circumstance and I am more than likely going to get these children back. I just want to know how long the Motions can go on and on and how long my current Order for increased support can stay in place without be ruled upon before the DCA will drop my case? I just feel like I'm under a train and I've hired a lawyer to represent me and nothing is happening but me being found in Contempt. If I fire him and don't have the money to pay a new attorney a retainer fee of 3k, then what do I do. If I'm up XXXX creek, please just tell me. That way I will probably reconsider the 10k fee to Appeal and just fight the amout of ongoing support I have to pay to be lowered to the amount I actually should be paying according to Guidelines.
  12. #12
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    I honestly don't know where you get the idea that you are going to win custody of your children, upon what do you make that assumption, statute or caselaw? Please cite. You have not proved your case, you did not have a shared parenting plan or 50/50 when you lived in FL, you were a FL resident when you got your divorce, you moved away, you left your children. You are in finance and you failed to properly fill out your financials or amend them in a timely manner, you have been found in contempt, You allowed your ex husband to become CP in order to save money on child support. Having 21 days to respond doesn't make any sense for a reason to give up custody of your children, what are you leaving out? You keep trying to blame others for your mistakes, you blame your ex for alienating your children when you were the one who moved away. Your children sided with dad in the psych eval, what did it actually say about you? We have member after member who go in pro se and win against attorney's because the facts and evidence support their contentions, we have others who spend thousands on attorneys and lose. It is true there are parents who alienate their children against the NCP but you have not provided anything even close to that. You are going to have to look at your situaiton realistically and consider what will happen if you do not win custody of your children or the right to remove them from FL which might cost you more to provide for dad's visitaiton than child support. Ws the move to PA worth it? Have you considered moving back?
  13. #13
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    Rmet, honestly, why the bashing?? I asked a legal question earlier and provided you with stats on the ongoing case. I don't really understand why you say the things you say about me moving. I don't want to offend you or any other person that is giving me advise but I feel that you're bashing with bias. You don't understand or comprehend the reason that I HAD to move from FL. I didn't have a job and all of my family is from PA. How could I support children if I coudn't support myself. I think it would be very nice if you could just answer my original question about the Appeals as opposed to continually jumping my ass about moving back home. Please don't take that offensively. I don't want confrontation with you. Why are you slamming me here?
  14. #14
    ice5146 is offline Member
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    After really thinking about it...I'm sorry I even asked a question here. My lawyer doesn't advise me of anything nor does he return calls. I just get findings in the mail of Contempt. I really need you bashing me like I need a hole in the head. I have continually read all of your responses to others and seriously respect all of you. Tonight, after reading your advise to me, I'm very disconcerted. I really think you need to UNDERSTAND that I just did not move away, my ex had PRIMARY RESIDENCE, me SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILTY, and I had to move to my home of record, PA, to S U R V I V E. I just didn't leave my kids. Sometimes, take a look at the legal question at hand before passing Judgment on someone before you have 1/4 of the clues about the situation. Rmet....please. I asked a legal question and you passed a TOTALLY biased Judgment on me. What gives??
  15. #15
    Zephyr is offline Senior Member
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    Ice can you enable your Pm's?

    to do so click on User CP in tan band towards that top of the screen

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