In Hillsborough County, the judge automatically enters a Standing Temporary Order for all family law cases. The Standing Temporary Order addresses several issues relating to children and finances. One particular provision restricts parents from relocating children away from their county of residence without agreement of the parties or court order. What happens when one parent violates that provision? A recent Second District Court of Appeals Case dealt with this issue. In Herrera-Frias v. Frias, the mother of three minor children disobeyed a standing pre-trial order that prevented the removal of minor children. The Mother fled with the children to Mexico and refused to return the children. As a result, the trial court entered an order directing the Mother to return the minor children to Florida and also granted the Husband sole parental responsibility. The Mother appealed. On appeal, the appellate court noted that the Mother failed to provide a written transcript of the proceedings, so their ability to make a ruling was limited.
Nevertheless, the Appellate court upheld the trial court’s ruling that ordered the Mother to return the minor children and granting the Husband sole parental responsibility. The appellate court stated, when a parent is in willful violation of a pretrial order addressing the removal of the children from the jurisdiction of the court, it is well within the discretion of the trial court to award sole responsibility to the parent who is properly before the court and compliant with the orders of that court. The Standing Temporary Order is a document that each parent must review thoroughly and take very seriously. Violating the Standing Temporary Order may mean serious consequences to you and your case. It is in your best interest to contact your expert family law attorney to discuss your rights and responsibilities under the Standing Temporary Order.