Is there any way for divorce/separation to be expedited if there is a risk of endangerment or loss of quality of life for children involved?

A close 16-year old friend of mine is stuck in a house with a father who is withholding, controlling, and emotionally abusive. Her mother and her father are preparing to divorce, but neither the father nor the mother will give up the house. It is almost 100% likely that the children will stay with the mother, as my friend and her younger brother are both expected to give statements strongly stating their preferences. Currently, however, my friend, her brother, and her mother are stuck living with this man, who is exercising any last bit of control he can. Can this be changed?

Asked on March 18, 2012 under Family Law, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are a very good friend to be writing.  There is a lot that can be done but her Mother will need to take the steps necessary to do so.  She cn ask for temproary custody of the children and occupancy of the house while the divorce is pending.  Why she has not done so is unknown.  In the meantime, maybe your friend and her brother can stay with a relative until the divorce is final.  All determinations are made by a court in "the best interest of the child."  Good luck.

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