Court Examines Post-Judgment Jurisdiction Over Custody Cases in Florida

Generally, people file family law actions in the court situated in the county in which they reside. If they subsequently move, though, there may be a question as to whether the court can continue to exercise jurisdiction over their case. Recently, a Florida court explained when courts within the state have the right to preside over custody cases in a matter in which it rejected the mother’s argument that the court no longer had jurisdiction over her case. If you need assistance with a custody matter, it is smart to talk to a Miami child custody attorney to determine what measures you can take to protect your interests.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the mother and the father married and had two children, both of whom were born in Florida. In 2015, they divorced. The trial court entered a final dissolution of the marriage which, among other things, ratified the parenting plan established by the parties and stated that the trial court had jurisdiction over the matter. A dependency case was opened in 2019, and the dependency court placed the children with the mother in Texas temporarily.

It is alleged that in 2020, the father filed a petition to modify parental responsibility and the parenting plan in Florida. The dependency court awarded the father visitation rights and relinquished jurisdiction over the matter. The mother then moved to dismiss the father’s petition for lack of jurisdiction. The trial court denied the mother’s motion, and she appealed.

Post-Judgment Jurisdiction Over Custody Cases

The court found no error in the trial court’s ruling that Florida retained jurisdiction over the parties’ custody case and therefore affirmed the trial court ruling. The court explained that pursuant to the Florida Statutes, Florida courts maintain exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over custody cases in which they have issued rulings until they determine that the children and both parents no longer reside in or have a significant connection with the state.

In the subject case, it was undisputed that the trial court issued a ruling in the parties’ custody matter and that the father continued to live in Florida and had substantial connections with the state. The court explained that, contrary to the mother’s argument, the dependency court’s ruling did not terminate the Florida court’s jurisdiction. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Talk to a Dedicated Miami Attorney

It is not uncommon for a parent to move to another city or state following a divorce, but the relocation of one parent is generally insufficient to terminate a court’s jurisdiction over a custody matter. If you need help with a custody case or any other family law proceeding, it is prudent to talk to an attorney about your options. The dedicated lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. possess the skills and experience needed to help you seek a favorable outcome, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. Our office is located in Aventura, and we regularly represent people in family law cases in Miami. You can contact us through our online form or at 800-596-0579 to set up a conference.