When it comes to filing your child custody case, you will want to be sure the court in which you plan to file has jurisdiction to consider your case. Jurisdiction means the power or authority the court has to make rulings in your case.
Thanks to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), determination of the appropriate court for filing a child custody case is made clearer by a set of rules to be followed across state lines. Most other states have also adopted the UCCJEA which means it is less likely that two different states will enter different custody orders, causing widespread confusion.
Under the UCCJEA, in order for a Florida court to make an initial child custody determination, Florida must be a child’s home state for the six months prior to the date the custody petition was filed. This means the child must have resided in Florida for at least six months before the court can take jurisdiction.
If a court of another state has already made an initial child custody determination, that court continues to have jurisdiction until it reliquishes it or a Florida court or the out of state court determines that the parents and child no longer reside in the other state. Under both scenarios, the child must reside in Florida for six months prior to the date of filing.
A consultation with a Miami child custody lawyer may help you decide the best way to file your initial child custody case or modification matter. Following the law may help ensure that you do not waste time and money in proceeding.