HARTFORD, CT – Fotis Dulos, 52, is back in the news this week as his lawyer, Rich Rochlin, filed a seven-page motion to dismiss the divorce proceedings with Dulos’ missing, estranged wife Jennifer Farber Dulos, in order to pursue guardianship of their five children in juvenile court, the Hartford Courant reported on December 26.
Gloria Farber, the children’s grandmother, has had guardianship since November when a probate judge removed both the parents, Fotis Dulos and Jennifer Farber Dulos, as guardians of their children and legally turned custody over to her, the Courant reported, noting that the children have lived with their grandmother in New York since their mother disappeared.
According to the Courant, “Dulos, who has not seen his children since Jennifer Dulos disappeared in May, has made it clear he is hoping to regain custody of his children by appealing the probate court ruling to juvenile court,” adding that “the probate hearings were held behind closed doors without Dulos present” and “in his motion, Rochlin said that Dulos is appealing the probate court ruling to juvenile court where a hearing is scheduled in Stamford on Jan. 9.”
In his motion, Rochlin also said that “Dulos is willing to risk testifying at a hearing in an effort to see his children again,” the Courant reported.
“Mr. Dulos intends to seek access to his children in the Juvenile or Probate Court and is prepared for a full evidentiary hearing in support of the same,” Rochlin said, the Courant reported. “It appears that there is no good cause why this Court should not dismiss the instant action and permit the remaining issues to be adjudicated in that forum.”
“Dulos has been arrested twice in connection with the May 24 disappearance of Farber Dulos,” the Courant reported, adding that “she was last seen dropping their children off at their private school in New Canaan that morning” and “Dulos is currently free on two separate $500,000 bails.”
Jennifer Farber Dulos’ divorce attorney Reuben S. Midler also filed a motion on Thursday asking the court to order Fotis Dulos “to pay his attorney fees to argue the motion to dismiss,” the Courant reported.
Milder said “because his client is missing ‘he is without a source for the payment of legal fees and costs’ to defend her rights in the family case and that Dulos should be ordered by the court to cover those expenses,” the Courant reported, adding that “Midler is seeking permission to depose Dulos to see if he is using marital assets to pay his legal fees and other expenses in violation of a court order that froze the couple’s accounts.”
“The contentious, 2-year-old divorce case hasn’t been on the docket since September and Judge Donna Heller hasn’t acted on several motions filed by both sides – including motions to have both Dulos and Gloria Farber undergo psychiatric evaluations,” the Courant reported, adding that “the court-appointed guardian ad litem, Michael Meehan, also hasn’t filed a status report with the court since June.”
“In the last five months, neither the Plaintiff nor her legal team has filed any pleadings or made any markings designed to prosecute this action and bring it closer to trial,” Rochlin wrote, the Courant reported. “As such, the case is dormant and absent the participation of the Plaintiff to prosecute her case, it can no longer remain a viable action.”
“Heller allowed Farber to intervene in the divorce case and there is a pending motion in the family case for sole custody of the children, which seeks ‘the same result she has already achieved in the New Canaan Probate Court,’” the Courant reported.
“Furthermore, absent some communication from the Court’s representative about setting up a status conference early in the fall, the Court (likely aware of the proceeding in Probate and Juvenile Courts) has not taken any action to move this matter to trial,” Rochlin said, the Courant reported, adding that “Rochlin has made a formal request to Meehan on behalf of Dulos to obtain information related to the children’s academic, medical, hospital or other health records, but that Meehan has advised him that ‘Ms. Farber in unwilling to share such information with Mr. Dulos.’”
Rochlin also said that the grandmother has denied “any attempts for the children’s aunt and her family from having any contact with the children, despite a long and positive history with these individuals,” the Courant reported, noting that “Dulos’ sister is visiting him from Greece for the holidays.”
In a press conference outside of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Dulos said, “for the past six months, my children and I haven’t been allowed to see or speak to each other. My children have been banned not only from me but from their extended family. My sister is here and she wanted to see my children and speak to them and she wasn’t allowed to. The same with the rest of my family,” the Courant reported, adding that “Dulos said he will keep fighting to ‘make us a family again.’”