I live in South Carolina with my daughter, and her father lives in Florida. I need to know which state to file for child support. I have lived here for almost 6 months.
I don't know if your case would be dismissed if you filed it in South Carolina. You'd have to ask a South Carolina lawyer that question. Your case would almost certainly not be dismissed if you filed it in the Florida county where the father lives. Florida allows lawsuits for child support if the alleged payor lives in Florida.
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Florida law requires you to be a resident for six months before you can file for family law relief. Since your child's father lives in Florida, you can certainly file for support in Florida in the county where he lives. You may also be able to file in S. Carolina if you meet its residency requirements.
This answer cannot be a substitute for legal advice which requires more information from the client than can be obtained in this forum.
The 6 month requirement (under the UCCJEA) really concerns child custody issues. There is no 6 month residency requirement for seeking child support in Florida; I cannot advise as to South Carrolina law. You can defintiely file for child support in Florida. However, this would obviously be of some expense and inconvenience to you as you would have to hire a Florida attorney. The main benefit would be that Florida would have personal jurisdiction over your Husband and thus a better ability to enforce the Order if he were later in contempt. A possible option is going to the Child Support Enforcement agency in your County in South Carolina and requesting services; they will in turn initiate a "UIFSA" request to Florida for Florida child support to initiate a support action (and if necessary a paternity action). You would thereafter have continued enforcement reprentation in the State of Florida. The downside is that state agencies do not work quickly, and you will be dealing with 2 state agencies. The option of proceeding in South Carolina may hinge upon whether South Carolina has personal jurisdiction over the Father, as stated previously the fact that you lived there for six months is probably not really relevent. If this were the reverse situation (i.e., you were in Floirda and he were in South Carolina), some missing key information would be whether or not the child was conceived in Florida, or if you were married, if you lived in Florida as Husband and Wife immediately before you separated. If the answer is yes to either of those questions, Florida (in a reverse sitaution) would have personal juridcition over dad and thus juridiction to enter a child support award. There are some other jurisdictional qualiifcations as well. So it would strongly behoove you to consult with a South Carolina attorney to see if there if South Carolina has personal jurisdiction over the Father. If it does, Carolina may be the better choice. But without personal jurisdiction you may have no choice but to file in Florida.
Family law rules differ significantly in every state, especially procedural rules. Always seek the advice of an attorney in the state where your divorce was filed.
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