I was thrilled to learn that the father who was jailed by Judge Alan Dickey for non-payment of child support, and about whom I've written several times (click here for earlier posts), was released from jail just before Christmas Day. I thought he would get to see his children for Christmas - after all, divorce decrees clearly detail each party's rights and responsibilities surrounding holiday visits.
I was wrong.
As of this morning, and in spite of her promise to drop them at his house Christmas Day at 4:00pm, the father still has not seen his children. The mother's attorney claimed that she is living in a cardboard box under Interstate 4 and didn't have gas money to transport them to his house. Casselberry police were contacted at 8:00pm Christmas Day and only left a message on her phone to report her whereabouts back to them. I presume they've never heard from her.
Considering the below-freezing temperatures we've had recently, I would think that it would be in the children's best interest to be in their dad's home if they really have been living under I-4.
As a sidenote, the City of Casselberry came to the dad's home on Christmas Eve (3 days after his release) to give him a code violation summons because his business (which has failed) does not have an occupational license. It sure appears as though someone is trying to make his life miserable in any way they can.
I understand that not receiving child support can be a hardship on a single mom. But withholding children from their father should not be tolerated by any judge. I'll keep you posted on what Judge Dickey rules once there's a hearing.