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Custody Modification, Due Process Allows A Parent To Present Evidence And Testimony

April 19, 2016 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

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Custody Modification Trial, Due Process Rights Apply

In a time-sharing or custody modification action due process rights require that both parents be allowed to present evidence and testimony to the court.  In Bielling v. Bielling the First District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida was faced with a trial court having entered a final judgment modifying custody half way through the proceedings and before the mother had been given the opportunity to present her evidence and testimony to the court.  At trial both parties did not have sufficient time to present their witnesses and requested more time.  The trial court agreed to the request and scheduled a new date for the continuation of the trial but then entered a final judgment before the continuation of the trial.

The First District Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order, ruling that not allowing parties to complete the presentation of their evidence and witnesses deprived the mother of her due process right to do so.  This is consistent with a line of cases stating that parties must be allowed to present their case, through evidence and witnesses, and make a closing argument.

Due process rights guarantee a parent the opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and argument to the court in a contested custody modification action.  It is essential that a parent facing a modification action use that right to present the persuasive evidence, testimony, and arguments to the court if they are to maximize their chances of achieving the right outcome for themselves and their children. Our lawyers can help you prepare your case and make the right presentation to the court.  If you have been denied that right our lawyers can help you appeal that decision.

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