My husband filed for divorce in his home state, but I just moved to Florida with our son.

Asked about 1 year ago - Clearwater, FL

I am from Florida and have a ton of family here. I just got back here on June 2nd. I got a notarized note from my husband giving me permission to move with our son. Yesterday I got served with a petition for divorce from Colorado. I am starting a new life here with my son, but now he is trying to change his mind so he can ultimately take our son from me. We both dont have a lot of money, but now he is living with his mom so he can save all of the money he does make. Is there a way to have jurisdiction changed to Florida? I have already enrolled in school and am looking for a job. Can the courts make us move back to Colorado? The petition says neither of us can take the baby out of state after being served, but I was already here. Also the petition has incorrect information on it.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Howard M Lewis

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    10

    Answered . The good news is that you moved before you served and that you have a note from your husband giving you some autority. The jurisdiction is an issue, but if you sit down with a local FL attny and discuss the issues you may be able to use your local rules and brainstorm some ideas, be creative and take care.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to... more
  2. Carin Manders Constantine

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I practice in Pinellas County, where it looks like you live now. You are caught in what we call here a "Concurrent Jurisdiction" problem. Under the UCCJEA, BOTH Colorado and Florida have jurisdiction of the minor child. Colorado, because you and your child have not lived here for the required 6 months for a Florida Court to take Jurisdiction, but Florida also has 'emergency' Jurisdiction because you are here with the child legally and moved before your Husband filed for divorce, with his consent.

    For the purpose of the Divorce, you will have to Answer the Colorado Petition, as you have not lived in Florida for 6 months, so Florida Courts cannot become involved in your Divorce.

    I have handled a few of these over the years and can tell you that in one case, the child had to be returned to the original state, and in another, the Judge invoked Jurisdiction and the child stayed here.

    Every case is fact specific, and you really need an attorney. These are difficult issues of State and Federal law and the Judge will want to see what has been filed in the other state.

    Many Family lawyers give free consults, but few will do a pro bono case that is so complicated and can take a long time to complete.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I am sorry that there is no clear answer for you.

    This information is a general answer and is not specific to any particular case. Carin Manders Constantine, Esq.... more
  3. William Charles Rosenfelt

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the comments of the previous attorney insofar as it will be helpful for you to have that note, etc. However, it would appear that Colorado has jurisdiction over this issue since you and your son have not lived here for at least 6 months. I don't know what Colorado law says and you'll need to consult with a CO attorney for that information.

    Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the... more
  4. John Arthur Smitten

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you have it in writing that he is allowing you to move then you should be ok. You should still file a petition for custody in FL.

  5. Joseph Julius Registrato

    Pro

    Contributor Level 15

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Jurisdiction in custody cases where one party moves from one state to another is always a difficult road, but based on the information you have supplied, it looks to me like Colorado has jurisdiction and you'll have to fight him there. Whether the child will be placed with him in Colorado will be a question for the Colorado court. I will disagree with the lawyer who said Florida and Colorado have concurrent jurisdiction based on the emergency provision of the uccjea unless the father was abusive to you or the child and you had to leave Colorado to escape abuse. That circumstance would invoke the possibility of emergency jurisdiction, but it is not what you have described. Bottom line is I think you're going to need a Colorado lawyer.

Related Topics

Divorce

Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Child Custody in a Divorce

Child custody may be physical or legal. Physical custody covers who the child lives with, and legal custody is the right to make decisions.

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