Orange County, Florida Out-of-State Registration of Custody Order/Emergency Custody Matter D.R. v. J.V.

Summary: The Father in this action was always involved in the upbringing of the minor child and was the majority timesharing parent. The Father, the child, and the Mother all lived in New York. In January 2017, the Mother requested to take the minor child on a trip to visit her family in Florida. The Father agreed to the Mother’s request and the Mother left with the minor child to Florida. After not hearing from the Mother in a few days the Father grew concerned and filed an action against the Mother in New York. The Father obtained an Order in New York awarding him full custody of the minor child. After attempting to obtain an Order from a Florida Court to obtain the child without success, the Father hired Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou. Attorney Bernal-Mora filed the appropriate Motions with the Court in order to register the New York custody order and enforce it on an emergency basis by obtaining a pick-up order for the minor child. After the filing of the Emergency Motion, the Court immediately set a hearing on the Father’s Motion. At the hearing, the Court heard testimony and took into evidence the Orders from New York.

Resolution: The Court entered the Pick-Up Order and ordered that the minor child be returned to the Father immediately. The Father was able to pick up the minor child that afternoon and travel back to New York.


Osceola County, Florida Divorce/Custody Matter A.L. v. E.L.

Summary: Prior to the filing for divorce, the Wife filed a Domestic Violence injunction against the Husband, in order to gain an upper hand against the Husband. In March 2015, the Wife filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and within her Petition requested alimony along with a request for majority timesharing and sole parental responsibility. Upon being served with the divorce action, the Husband retained Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou to represent him. During the pendency of the litigation, the Wife made voluminous amounts of false allegations against the Husband including several false reports to DCF. The Wife’s actions were clearly in an attempt to bar the Husband from a having a meaningful relationship with the minor child. Due to the Wife’s actions, Attorney Nickolaou filed several Motions with the Court in order to obtain contact for the Husband without the Wife’s unnecessary restrictions. At the temporary relief hearing, the Court awarded the Husband equal timesharing with the minor child. Wife continued to take action to reduce and intervene in the Husband’s timesharing with the minor child. In June 2016, trial was held on the pending issues of the divorce action. Wife’s Counsel continued to argue the need to reduce the Husband’s timesharing based on the Wife’s claims and to award the Wife alimony due to the Husband’s income.

Resolution: The Court ordered that the parties continue to exercise equal timesharing with the minor child. The Court reprimanded the Wife for her actions during the litigation and ordered that should her actions continue that the Court would consider awarding the Husband majority timesharing with the minor child. In addition, the Court denied the Wife’s request for alimony and attorney’s fees. Due to the Wife’s actions during the pendency of the case, the Court awarded the Wife to pay towards the Husband’s attorney’s fees.


Orange County, Florida Divorce/Long-Distance Custody Matter G.D. v. B.D.

Summary: In September 2013, the Wife filed her Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. During this time, the Wife was in communication with the Husband in regard to the parties’ debts and the minor child. The Wife attempted to have the Husband served at addresses she knew were not correct. The Wife ultimately obtained a default Final Judgment from the Court against the Husband and served the Husband with the Final Judgment entered by the Court. Upon being served with the Final Judgment, the Husband hired Bernal-Mora and Nickolaou, P.A. to contest the Final Judgment as it awarded the Wife sole parental responsibility and authority to govern the Husband’s timesharing with the minor child. Attorney Bernal-Mora filed the appropriate Motions with the Court and was able to have the Final Judgment set aside due to the bad faith conduct of the Wife. During the pendency of the case, the Wife refused to permit the Husband any meaningful timesharing with the minor child. In addition, the Wife refused to involve the Husband in any decisions related to the minor child. Due to the fact that the Husband resided in Colorado it made it difficult for him to travel to Florida to see the child as the Wife refused to permit the minor child to travel with the Husband to Colorado. After extensive litigation, the case was set for trial in September 2015 and October 2015. During the trial, the Wife attempted to portray the Husband as an unstable parent who should not be permitted to have extensive timesharing with the minor child. In addition, the Wife was requesting over $40,000.00 in child support arrears and for the Husband to be responsible for a significant portion of the marital liabilities.

Resolution: The Court ordered a long-distance Parenting Plan giving the Husband significant contact during the Summer in Colorado along with additional contact throughout the year. In addition, the Court found the Husband’s child support arrears to be only $4,493.13, which was obtained by giving the Husband the appropriate credits for monies paid to the Wife and properly calculating the child support owed since the parties’ separation. The parties’ debts were equitably divided despite Wife’s claims and requests for an uneven distribution.


Orange County, Florida Paternity/Relocation Matter A.B. v. L.M.

Summary: In 2008, the Father filed a Petition for Establishment of Paternity to establish a time-sharing schedule, due to the Mother’s constant restriction of his time-sharing with the minor child. After much litigation, in October, 2009, the parties entered into a Mediation Agreement whereby each party was to have equal time-sharing with the minor child on a week on week off rotation.  In June 2013, the Mother filed a Petition to Relocate requesting to move to Alabama with the minor child. Upon being served with the Petition the Father hired Bernal-Mora and Nickolaou, P.A. to represent him. Shortly thereafter, the Father was offered a position in Texas and due to his lack of employment in Florida, the Father was forced to take the position and relocate to Texas, leaving the minor in Florida with the Mother. During the pendency of the litigation the Mother did everything in her power to place unnecessary restrictions on the Father’s ability to have time-sharing with the minor child. A few months prior to the trial, the Mother relocated to Alabama without the consent of the Father or the Court. In December 2015, the parties’ competing Petition’s for Relocation were set for trial before the Circuit Court.

Resolution: After hearing the testimony and evidence, the Court found it was in the child’s best interest to relocate to Texas with the Father. The Father was awarded majority time-sharing with the minor child and the Mother was ordered to pay support to the Father for the benefit of the minor child. Shortly after the Final Judgment being entered the Mother filed a Motion for Rehearing in relation to the placement of the child along with the ordered support. Attorney Bernal-Mora defended the Motion for Rehearing arguing that the Court’s ruling was in the child’s best interest. After much consideration, the Court denied the Mother’s Motion for Rehearing and the Courts ruling stayed as previously ordered.