If you are living in Florida and you need to modify or start a child custody case, then you have to be sure that the court has jurisdiction. This essentially means that the Florida court has the right to make a ruling in your custody case. If another court has jurisdiction, then you will need to go there to have your case heard.
According to the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, there are strict rules about jurisdiction. You can have it changed if needed, but there are specific conditions your case must meet to get a change. Here are three factors that affect a jurisdiction change.
1. The court has jurisdiction over the child
If the court can prove it has jurisdiction over your child, then it may be able to hear the case. To do this, the court needs to show the child has established residency here. That could be through being born in the state or living here for a specific amount of time.
In addition, it is also possible for the state to have jurisdiction over your child if you, as the parent, has a significant connection to the state. For example, if you were born in Florida, then you may be able to use this as grounds for the jurisdiction.
2. There is an emergency
If there is a pressing situation where you must have a custody hearing, the court may be able to claim jurisdiction. For example, if you are in a domestic violence situation or you otherwise have reason to believe your child is in harm, this could qualify as an emergency.
3. Orders exist in another state
If there is an existing order in another state, then that state has jurisdiction in most cases. There are special circumstances where a Florida court may be able to assume jurisdiction, but this is usually only valid if you are requesting a modification.
Trying to get a change in jurisdiction is not easy. You should make sure that you understand this concept before you move from one state to the next so you can handle custody matters properly.