West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer Matthew S. Nugent observed the case below from Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.  Clicking on the name of the case below links to the text of the entire opinion:

Case:               A.A. v. Department of Children and Families

Court:             Third District Court of Appeal.

Trial Judge:   Cindy S. Lederman.

Attorneys:      Joanne M. Postel, Karla Perkins Department of Children and Families, Hillary Kambour, Guardian ad Litem Program.

Issues:             Child Custody, Reunification.

Holding:          A hearing must be conducted, or evidence considered, whenever a parent with intact parental rights petitions to modify a permanent guardianship order or to obtain reunification/increased contact with the child. The petitioner must provide evidence to demonstrate that the safety, well-being, and the physical, mental, and emotional health of the child is not endangered by the modification being sought. This fulfills a party’s right to due process, which includes the right to present evidence and testimony in support of his or her motion. In this case, the trial court failed to hold a hearing before refusing to modify the permanency order and allow reunification. The trial court erred further when it denied the petitioner’s subsequent request for a rehearing on this basis. The matter was remanded for the trial court to conduct an evidentiary hearing and render an order in compliance with the relevant statutes.

Matthew S. Nugent is a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney with the law firm of Nugent Zborowski & Bruce. Mr. Nugent’s law practice is limited to the mediation, litigation and appeals of divorce and family law matters. His practice is throughout South Florida, including Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and other areas throughout Palm Beach County, Martin County and Broward County. To speak with Mr. Nugent, or another member of the firm, call (561) 844-1200.