Should You File Your Divorce And Custody Case in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? (Part 1)

During divorce and paternity proceedings, Sandy T. Fox, a Fort Lauderdale attorney, can assist clients with custody and time-sharing disputes. One of the most common conflicts related to custody cases, such as those in Broward County, Florida, deals with jurisdictional competition and conflicts with courts of other states and countries pertaining to child custody and time-sharing. The divorce court can make an initial child custody determination if Florida is the home state of a child on the date that the proceedings commence.

In Karam v. Karam, the Third District Court of Appeal was presented with the issue of whether the trial court departed from the essential requirements of the law in dismissing the custody portion of the Wife’s petition for dissolution of marriage was quashed.

The parties have two children and lived in Guadeloupe until 2005. In 2005, the parties entered the USA on the Husband’s investor visa and placed their home in Guadeloupe for sale. The Husband created a corporation in Florida and opened a store in Miami, Florida. The parties purchased a $1.2 million home in Florida, obtained insurance for the residence and cars and obtained a Florida drivers license. The Wife obtained a US social security card and health insurance for the children. While the minor children attended school in Florida, they spent the holidays and summers with the parties in Guadeloupe. Although the parties resided in Miami, Florida since 2005, the parties also maintained a residence, bank accounts, vehicles and businesses in Guadeloupe.

On August 14, 2007, the Husband filed a petition for divorce in Guadeloupe. On September 5, 2007, the Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Miami-Dade County. Both parties raised issues related to the custody of the minor children. On November 2007, the Husband filed a verified motion to dismiss the custody portion of the Wife’s petition for dissolution of marriage. Specifically, the Husband challenged Florida’s jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (hereinafter “UCCJEA).