Picture of a gavelImagine losing custody of your child to a spouse that has falsely accused you of untrue heinous acts. Imagine you are denied access to your daughter, who has been moved out of state by your ex for months or even years, due to incendiary lies. We recently handled such a case… and ultimately achieved a positive outcome.

The client, a father in his 40s with a toddler, had entered a divorce agreement in December of 2014. Having been coerced under duress, he agreed to a very restrictive judgment that allowed his ex-wife to move out of state with his young daughter and only allowed him to travel out of state to see her every other month. Eleven months later, he contacted Halickman & Farley requesting something that was almost impossible to do… vacate the divorce judgment.

After talking with witnesses who confirmed his story, we decided to take the case.
By June of 2015, we were able to negotiate with the ex-wife’s lawyer so that our client could get more timesharing with his daughter, including summer timesharing with him in Florida. .

He enjoyed his first summer visit that June and had scheduled another trip in August for his daughter’s birthday. Before the time came, he was served a restraining order from the state where his ex-wife lived alleging he had sexually abused their daughter, which is what she had threatened when he signed the original divorce agreement. There were no specific allegations, but he had to get an attorney in the other state and wait for a court hearing in September.

The court continued the restraining order until the Department of Children and Family Services and law enforcement could conduct an investigation. During this period, our client was unable to have any contact with his daughter. The investigation cleared our client and right after our client walked into the court room with his children from a prior marriage and his parents, the ex-wife withdrew her petition, and our client was able to reunite with his daughter for a week the following February.

Soon after, the ex-wife made another allegation of sexual abuse, and once again, an investigation ensued and our client was barred from having any contact with his daughter. And again, the investigation found no evidence and a full evidentiary hearing was held in the out-of-state court where the Judge found no evidence of abuse and denied the ex-wife’s petition. Despite this ruling in the out-of-state court, the ex-wife refused to permit out client to have timesharing with his daughter. We filed a motion for make-up timesharing in Florida, and the court issued an order for the daughter to stay with him the majority of the summer in Florida. And yet again, the ex-wife made another false allegation to law enforcement and DCF. We made an emergency motion to have full custody awarded to him.

Our discovery and investigation uncovered recordings of the ex-wife taking the daughter to a “crazy” therapist who encouraged the child to lie and falsely accuse her father of abuse. After a major court hearing, we prevailed, and our client was awarded full custody in September of 2018 with the ex wife having supervised timesharing.

While our client suffered agonizing distress over being falsely accused of the unimaginable, on top of being separated from his daughter the better part of four years, he remained patient and trusted us… and the legal system… to fight on his behalf. If you are facing a controversial custody battle, please give us a call at 561-932-1988. We pride ourselves on being fierce but compassionate advocates for our clients.