Out-of-State Father and Child Support: Florida Family Law

In Florida, the statutes regarding paternity, child support, visitation and custody have different laws when dealing with an out-of-state parent. I am a Jacksonville area divorce and family law attorney and recently I had a case involving a mother and child that reside here and a father that lives out-of-state. The issue that was difficult to overcome is, “which court is proper to bring actions regarding the child?”
Florida Statute 48.193 requires that the out-of-state resident to have some form of contact with the State of Florida. While the presumed father has the option to prevail on this issue if he has not been in Florida, nor was the child conceived in Florida, that does not resolve the issue for the presumed father.
Once a child resides in Florida, the Florida courts have jurisdiction over that child through the UCCJEA and Florida Statute 61.514. Therefore, all actions dealing with visitation and custody must be brought in Florida, so an out-of-state court may be required by the presumed father, to determine paternity and possibly child support, but if the father wants visitation with the child, he will be required to file in Florida.
Also, if any of the actions in Florida Statute 80.2011, then Florida can have jurisdiction over all aspects involving the child, regardless of the other party’s contacts with Florida.
Basically, if someone brings the issue of jurisdiction when dealing with a child, the individual will most likely have to hire an attorney in two (2) states as opposed to one (1). It ultimately makes more sense for all actions to be handled in one court and one state and to save the cost for attorneys.

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