If you were divorced outside of the United States and you need a Florida court to enforce the terms of the foreign divorce order, you should know about some limits the law places on enforcement. The same goes for contracts entered in family law matters in another country. Generally, however, you should rest assured most non-Florida judgments and contracts are honored by the Miami Family Court.
As it relates to family court orders from other countries, a Florida divorce court cannot enforce the order if the parties did not have due process when the order was entered, the foreign court did not have jurisdiction to enter the order, or enforcement of the order is against the public policy of this state. Due process refers to the right of each party to have notice of a court proceeding and the right to be heard in the proceeding.
Two provisions a Florida court may not enforce in relation to Family Law contracts (think prenuptial agreements or a marital settlement agreement) are:
1. A contract provision that states the parties agree to apply the laws of a foreign country in interpreting and enforcing the agreement if that foreign country’s laws are against the public policies of Florida. So for example, if the foreign law the parties agreed to apply states that one parent is not allowed to see the parties’ children simply because of his/her gender, this would be an unreasonable law that is against Florida’s public policy for both parents to have a close and continuing relationship with the children after separation.
2. A contract provision that forces the parties to litigate their case in a foreign country if enforcing the provision would be unreasonable under the circumstances.
Have questions about whether or not your foreign family law judgment is enforceable in Florida? We’re here to answer them. Contact Streets Law in Miami for your consultation options.