In a dissolution of marriage case or a paternity action in Florida, the UCCJEA Florida law (spelled out fully as Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida), the court needs to make a determination whether it has jurisdiction (legally binding authority) to hear your child custody case. As you may be aware, Florida courts are heavily inundated with dissolution of marriage and paternity cases, and do not have the time or resources to allow out-of-state cases into their system without sufficient proof that jurisdiction is appropriate. This series of requirements are a measure of resourcefulness, because Florida courts prefer to avoid jurisdiction battles with out of state courts when a more convenient forum has already been proven. Their attention and resources are primarily applied to Florida residents with jurisdictional standing under the UCCJEA Florida. Florida Statute 61.514 clearly provides the basis for jurisdictional standing when cases involve kids. Call child custody attorney Jonathan Jacobs at 407-335-8113 for information on your divorce or paternity case with minor children.
The Florida Legislature has put together an excellent Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute 61.514, otherwise Known as the UCCJEA Florida Statute. This Statute perfectly explains and clarifies the circumstances under which Florida courts may confer jurisdiction over your case, and when and why they may choose not to do so.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute
Pursuant to the UCCJEA Statute, Florida is considered the home state (for jurisdictional purposes) of the minor child(ren) as of the date of the beginning of the case, OR if Florida was the home state of the minor child(ren) within six months prior to the initiation of the proceeding. Six months is a more than reasonable amount of time during which litigants may establish residency and significant contacts within our State. The kid(s) whose best interests are being decided by a Florida court can be living in another state for purposes of UCCJEA, as long as the parents or would-be custodial parents continuously maintain a residence within the State of Florida. Florida will not take jurisdiction over your case if another state has taken control of your case. However, if the other state(s) have declined jurisdiction, and the requirements provided by the UCCJEA Statute are present, Florida will likely integrate your child custody case into its court system.
It is important that either the kid(s), the parent(s) or all parties have a “significant” connection with Florida that is more than a mere physical presence. Equally as important is that the Florida courts want to know that the child(ren) whose timesharing and child support is under consideration, have substantial ties (relationships) in/to the State of Florida. This may include schooling, friendships, extracurricular activities, a Driver License, mail, residency, etc.
Ultimately, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute, otherwise Known as the UCCJEA Florida law, is written and provided for marital dissolution litigants to alert them to the fact that Florida does not have to hear their case. Being a litigant in a Florida divorce court has certain requirements that must be fulfilled or else the court will recommend you litigate your issues in a more (or most) appropriate forum. This means another state, another jurisdiction. Before you file with the court, ask an attorney if you meet the requirements of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Florida Statute, i.e. the UCCJEA Florida elements.
Technically speaking, family law cases are a form of civil litigation. However, when lawyers think about the meaning of civil lit, we more often conjure to mind eviction cases, commercial lease disputes, construction lawsuits, insurance disputes, and the list goes on. If you would like to learn more about civil litigation, visit our civil lit page today!