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Who has jurisdiction in a child custody case in Florida?

If you are involved in a divorce and there are children who are caught in the middle, the state of Florida has some guidelines that must be followed to determine child custody arrangements.

A child custody determination that is made by the court binds every person who has been notified or who has submitted to this jurisdiction. Everyone will have an opportunity to be heard at the hearing and even applies to people outside the state of Florida.

The notice of a hearing is required for everyone who is going to have an interest in the custody of the child. If you are outside the state of Florida, the court will notify you following the rules of your state. If the state authority cannot reach you any other way, they have the right to publish this notice in a newspaper in the town you are currently residing.

There must be proof that notice was made, perhaps by a copy of the paper it was posted in or a notice from the post office that you signed and received the notice.

If you contact the authorities in Florida and tell them that you are submitting to their jurisdiction then notice is not required.

You may need to have an attorney in Florida who knows the rules of the state and can guide you in this process. That way, you have a representative who will keep you informed so you don't miss any type of court decisions or actions.

He or she can ensure that your rights are taken seriously and that your child is taken care of in the best possible way.

Promoting cooperation is the goal of this type of hearing. If you go in and are not represented well, you may not get what you desire.

Source: Florida Statutes, "Uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act," accessed June 24, 2015

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