Interstate Child Custody Attorneys in Miami Assert Your Parental Rights

Trustworthy Florida advocates when family law issues cross state lines

One of the great aspects of life in the United States is the ability to move easily from state to state for a change of scenery and lifestyle. As a result, many Florida residents are transplants from other parts of the country, and many of these transplants are subject to child custody or child support orders from other states. If you are under such an order, you may wonder about your rights to have the order enforced or modified. The experienced family law attorneys at Rafool, LLC, are ready to help you in this regard. We regularly help parents register out-of-state custody and child support orders with the Florida court as a precursor to enforcement or modification.

The role of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Family law is, for the most part, a state issue, so the federal government has limited authority. That means, in theory, each of the 50 states is free to make its own laws and judge its own cases. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers recognized the potential chaos that could arise from this situation, and they wrote the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” into Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, imposing the duty to uphold the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” Therefore, the courts in Florida have a duty to enforce judgments, such as child custody orders, issued in other state courts.

As if this were not enough, Florida, like 48 other states, has passed a version of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This law is meant to uniformly promote the best interests of the child; avoid wasteful, repetitious litigation; and deter impermissible relocation or child kidnapping. This law requires Florida courts to treat child custody orders from other states and countries as if they were issued here. Thus, a parent can relocate to Florida from another state and still enforce the original child custody order without starting over from scratch.

The law also allows a Florida court to issue an enforcement order that is binding on any party who had notice of the legal action and had the opportunity to appear. This means a Florida parent can get an enforcement order for a parent residing in another state, even if that parent has never set foot on Florida soil.

Important points about jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is the court’s authority to hear a particular case. In a child custody matter, the child’s home state has original and continuing jurisdiction. This means the home state court retains rights over the case until circumstances change sufficiently to allow another court to assume jurisdiction. Under UCCJEA, additional reasons to take jurisdiction include:

  • A significant connection between the state and parties to a child custody dispute
  • Emergency jurisdiction when the child is present and the child’s welfare is threatened
  • Presence of the child in the state, when there is no other state with a sound basis for jurisdiction

Depending on your circumstances, you could ask the court to assume jurisdiction by invoking the UCCJEA.

Registering an out-of-state order in Florida

If you are planning to reside in Florida and you have an out-of-state child custody order, we strongly recommend you register your order with the local court. This allows the court to transfer jurisdiction. If an emergency arises and you need the court to enforce or modify that order, the way will already be clear for your case to be heard. An attorney at our firm can advise you on the requirements for registering your court order.

Contact our Miami family law firm with your questions on interstate child custody

To protect your child’s welfare, it’s important to know how to have an out-of-state child custody order enforced in the Miami area. Our experienced child custody attorneys at Rafool, LLC, are ready to help. For immediate assistance, call us at (305) 567-9400 or contact our Miami office online  to schedule an initial consultation.