I filed a case for paternity. At the time I filed my daughter was here 5 months and two weeks. Although my daughter did not physically leave the state for 6 months. They are claiming Florida doesn't have jurisdiction. Any suggestions?
It's unclear what you mean by she was in fla for 5 mos and 2 weeks but didn't physically leave the state for 6 months...
Find an attorney that is experienced in UCCJEA issues. If the competing jurisdiction is another state. It's a detailed analysis that once you get past the initial part of the law, requires applying your specific facts to the statute. What is the competing jurisdiction? Another state? County?
The information you obtain from me at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by me answering your questions. This is general information only and you should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I am an independent licensed to practice law in Florida and Kentucky. My office is located in northern Kentucky.
I agree you need to speak with an attorney who has experience with jurisdictional issues relating to child custody. If FL is not the home state and another state has jurisdiction, it may be a matter of having the other state relinquish jurisdiction, especially if there is no pending case in other state. You need an attorney who can go over all the facts with you.
If you found my answer helpful or it was the best answer for you, please mark it. Thank you. This is intended as general legal advice and not intended to create an attorney/client relationship.
I have recently litigated several jurisdictional issues. Your facts are too vague to give you a specific answer but consider the following:
Subject matter jurisdiction over child custody matters is governed by the UCCJEA.”The UCCJEA is . . . a jurisdictional act which controls custody disputes. N.W.T. v. L.H.D. (in the Interest of D.N.H.W), 955 So. 2d 1236, 1238 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2007). Florida courts have jurisdiction and are competent to decide custody matters where Florida is the home state of the child at the time of the commencement of the proceeding or where Florida has been the child's home state within six months before commencement of the proceeding. See § 61.514, Fla. Stat. (2002); Feriole v. Feriole, 468 So. 2d 1090, 1091 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985). Section 61.514 of the Florida Statutes "unequivocally limits jurisdiction to determine initial custody matters (except for temporary emergency matters) to the 'home state' of the child." Arjona v. Torres, 941 So. 2d 451, 454 (Fla. 3d DCA 2006). "Home state" is defined in section 61.503(7) as "the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least [six] consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding."
The question of jurisdiction is a very fact intensive inquiry. If Florida was the last place that the child lived for 6 consecutive months prior to the initiation of an action, it may have jurisdiction. Without more facts all I can give you are the rules.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline