FAMILY LAW - Peanut Allergies/Biased Custody Evaluators, Punitive Judges, Incompetant Lawyers and CIVIC Belated Appeals.
In 2005 in Seminole County, Florida, Upon 12 years of marriage -- 5 years w/FH business helping him get patent and licensing agreement and also 7 years caring for our child's chronic medical emergencies -- my 47-year old FH initiated a hostile CUSTODY battle ($20,000 retainor to Robert Wheelock - actually charging lien on my townhouse) by luring our 7 year old, special medical needs son on an errand to Home Depot and never returning until the state attorney pending charge of custody interference, 7 days later. During the 8 months of pretrial maneuvers, I was accused of MUNCHAUSEN for protecting my child. The Court judicially noticed that the father had former legal child support and custody legal proceedings from his 1st marriage.
The court appointed and the father paid $4000.00 to custody evaluator Dr. Daniel Tressler (Casey Anthony evaluator). Dr Tressler's report described that I was OVERREACTING, despite skin tests and blood tests and diagnosis by Dr. Arias and Dr. Patel of the Asthma Allergy Specialists (of Altamonte Springs, FL.) that our son suffered food analphylaxis to peanut/tree nuts, had asthma (and a hearing loss) and was prescribed an epinephrine pin, inhalor and hearing aide. Dr. Tressler's report rejected sworn affidavits of close to one dozen family, friends and neighbors whom over the years witnessed multiple times the child suffered allergic reactions and was even hospitalized. The evalutor also rejected the child's food elimination diary and the father's notes of various reactions. The evaluator claimed I could not accept the divorce or reality. The custody evaluator suggested that the child was subjected to an 'unusual' amount of medical treatment. The evaluator surmised that I was 'enmeshed' with my child. I have since learned that he had judicial ties.
At March 2006 ruling, the Judge awarded "temporary" custody requiring counselling and lecturing me (see transcripts) that I spent all of my time volunteering (each Friday) at the school wiping tables down of peanut butter (Kindergarten kids with sticky peanut butter hands were allowed to clean tables); that I could not move on down the road to get a job or accept reality and that I was enmeshed with my child. The Judge imputed a wage (minimum)onto me despite the fact that we agreed that due to our son's special medical needs,I would be a stay at home mom, as I had homeschooled our son for 3 years and despite the fact that the father was the major breadwinner pulling in $120K per year. Further, the court ordered my Connecticut passive income rental property sold with my $900.00 monthly mortgage, $90,000 note and $310,000 equity. that I had purchased in 1989 at the ripe single age of 32. So, the FH got $200K. I got stuck w/FH expensive mortgage $180,000.00 and $1350.00 monthly mortgage with hold harmless clause, and the deed was conveyed to me. At the age of 50, I received 3 year lump sum alimony of $1000.00 per month and Child Support of $1000.00 per month, for a grand total of $2000.00 per month. (To be fair, the fact that my attorney presented no character witnesses -- Judge relayed "I had hoped to hear other witnesses, but there were none." did not help the case.)
By 2007, the father signed a Relocation Stipulation, if I agreed to sell the house or list the house within 9 months. The plan was to live with my mother. But I learned that a family member living with my mother was utilizing cocaine. I was terrified to place our 8 year old in that situation and the relocation was not in the best interest of the child. So, we did not relocate. We had no where else to go. My Connecticut home with a very low mortgage and rental income was sold by the court; and, I was awarded the father's burdensome mortgage and deed. There was nowhere else for us.
By 2008, at the age of 50 (mother at 41) with retraining, I got my foot in the door and was hired as part-time Instructional Assistant Physical Education Teacher. But, within six months, I was part of the group laid off AND also the 3 year temporary alimony ceased. Now, we were surviving on $1000 per month child support. The father litigated me claiming CONTEMPT and asking for my incarceration so my horrible new attorney coereced me despite my reservations to a stipulation where I agreed to diversion of the child support to the mortgage and also listing or refinance of the home within 9 months. My mother and food stamps supported us. But the home would not sell and I could not recoup the $200K as the father did -- MAYBE $50K profit. Also, despite diverting the $1000.00 support to the FH mortgiage, the child support did not cover the full mortgage of $1350.00 Therefore, no matter, I became late on the father's expensive mortgage (hold harmless clause) and the father continued his malicious litigation.
On July 7, 2009, The court (Judge Simmons) granted an order on behalf of the father's stipulation to evict my son and I to sell the home (even while the Income Deduction Order was not reinstated and the support continued to go to the mortgage). Despite the chaos of being evicted, our items in storage and temporary housing, finally in August, I had my own hearing and appeared and asked for the child support to be reinstated, which it was. But for 2 months we went without the child support that was diverted to the abandoned home. That $2K was never recouped. There were no monies to hire a truck or deposit for an apartment and my motion for moving fees was denied.
By February 2010..................despite my having previously filed June 30, 2009 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy claiming home as exempt and FH as creditor to stave off eviction, despite my filing a Suggestion of Bankruptcy with Circuit Court and despite the fact that the federal court granted an automatic stay preventing the home from being sold, the previous summer we were evicted the father's surveillance camera captured me removing the For Sale Sign (father listed home $50K below market and I sent 3 certified letters to agent to cease and desist with copy of stay order.),the father falsified a police report that I was trespassing,.........I received a summons. I responded by contacting a corporal showing him the Federal orders and the corporal filed a capias against the FH for falsifying a police report. So, both capias raced to SA but his hit first and SA pursued the charges and even rejecting copies of the federal order automatic stay. (I saw his dream team there that morning laughing it up with my SA). The SA accept capis against me and reject capias against him. Needless to say the charges were dropped upon my completion of the PT Div Program. The Bankruptcy court granted dismissal of the case by Sept. 2009.
Note: Due to my inability to keep up with the mortgage and also the fact that the father dropped all contact with our son, in Nov. 2008 I filed a Supplemental Petition to Modify the Child Support and received an Order for Trial for Nov. 5, 2009 and met all pre-trial orders. However, my FH hired a former state prosecutor and filed 3 different financial affidavits and were granted orders related to my house to evict us in July. Not deterred, I appeared and received orders to compel, orders to reinstate the income deduction order and even an order reserving on witness tampering. On Trial morning 10 minutes from the courthouse my car MYSTERIOUSLY overheated and despite the fact that I notified the J.A. opposing counsel was granted an ore tenus motion to dismiss the case. WHen I arrived, the Judge was walking off the bench and REFUSED a continuance. I was entitled to at least $600.00 more per month based on the Income Tax Return as well as my Motion to Deviate from CSG since he had no contact. So, I am finding it impossible to get court access to modify the child support. I know that no matter how close I get to a Trial, I am in over my head with my FH dream teams. The new attorney whom agreed to represent me seeking attorney fees (1st visit, October 2010)has yet to get even one hearing. Meanwhile, my deeded home lies abandoned, deterioated and unsold; and, I receive the monthly water bill and yearly tax bill.
In March 2011, in temporary housing living on $1000.00 child support and side jobs as Writer and Archivist, I wrote to Florida Tax Watch requesting partnering for research of the inadvertent tax consequences (at least $12K medicaid, food stamps)due to certain divorce rulings even when the father is gainfully employed and asking for help to sponsor a bill that will allow for belated civil appeals for single mothes of special medical needs children whom suffered incompetenent attornies.
In July 2011 I also wrote former Chief Judge Clayton Simmons whom has gone into private practice requesting that he provide support of this legislation to allow single mothers a CIVIL belated appeal (for alimony) as criminals are allowed who suffer the consequences of incompetant legal advise. Over the past 2 years, I have also sent Linkedin Invitations to him.
Yes it is true, I need a CIVIC belated appeal. I learned that my attorney misled me when immediately after the 2006 ruling when I requested an appeal and was told, "IT IS TOO LATE FOR AN APPEAL". Losing my ability to support myself and losing our home, I researched and learned the law and I learned that we had ACTUALLY had 30 days to file an appeal; but we lost our chance. Further,I also found out that my lawyer had a preplanned summer round the world trip and had we appealed, this would have delayed the sale of the Connecticut property that therefore would delay his payment. Further, I have found case law that supports permanant alimony in grey-area marriages like mine (12 Years) where the couple agree that the mother stay home to care for the special medical needs child. After six (6) years of study, I can see that the Judge was able to be "Impartial" and did not rule as per law. I feel that the 5th DCA would find that the Judge did not follow the letter of the law on 'grey area marriages, agreements between parties and permanant alimony.
I would appreciate concrete suggestions, support and friends as I pursue changing Florida leglislation for the benefit of single mothers with special medical needs children whom were entitled to permanant alimony but lost their chance for an appeal due to punitive Judges, biased custody evaluators and incompetent lawyers. I also wish to help any mother whom is undergoing a custody battle and is being attacked for protecting their allergic child.