Experienced Attorney Litigates Complex Jurisdictional Issues in Florida Divorces
Capable case management for interstate and international disputes
Given the natural beauty of Florida, it’s not surprising that people come here from all over the world, and that many folks soon move on to other places. If you have a pressing legal issue with someone who has left the state, or the country, your process can be much more difficult. Fortunately, at the Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A., we have extensive experience with complex jurisdictional matters related to divorce and family law. The most common situations involve:
- Filing a divorce where one of the respondent spouse lives in another state
- Determining how to distribute property that lies in another state
- Enforcing child custody orders across state lines
Our firm provides highly effective legal services to American and international clients seeking justice across state lines and international borders. We are often hired as co-counsel or as an expert to testify with respect to abduction.
Filing in Florida for an interstate divorce
If you have lived continuously in Florida for at least six months, you meet the Florida residency requirement, and you can file for divorce in Florida in the court of the county where you reside. The Florida court can assume jurisdiction even if your spouse does not live in the state. However, if you have children, they must meet the residency requirement before a Florida court can decide issues such as child custody, parenting plan and child support. You must also arrange for a process server in your spouse’s state of residence to serve your spouse with divorce papers.
If your spouse responds to your divorce filing by filing for divorce in another state, that court may defer to the Florida court in the interest of comity.
Managing distribution of property in other states
Multi-jurisdiction property division offers additional challenges. Florida courts cannot exercise in rem jurisdiction over property in another state, but they can exercise in personam jurisdiction over the parties who own and control that property. That means the court cannot issue an order to one of the parties that amounts to a seizure of the property. Furthermore, real estate is always subject to the laws of the state in which it is located. Florida courts apply our laws of equitable distribution, so an asset in a community property state presents another layer of complexity.
Enforcing child support and child custody disputes across state lines
Under the U.S. Constitution, states must give “full faith and credit” to the laws of other states. This principle has been codified in the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which outlines how states must enforce court orders from other states related to custody and support. Mr. Katz has exemplary credentials in this area as a mentor with the International Child Abduction Attorney Network and the U.S. Department of State Attorney Network. He has helped reunite children with parents throughout the United States and abroad. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S Department of State have honored him for his work.
Decisive steps to protect active-duty service members
Service members deployed overseas are often at a tremendous disadvantage in divorce proceedings. Fortunately, the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) offers certain protections, including the right to delay divorce proceeding while deployed. We can help you exercise your rights under this important federal law. However, if you wish to proceed with a divorce while you are deployed, we provide highly personalized legal services despite the geographic distance.
Call a Florida divorce lawyer experienced in multi-jurisdictional divorce
The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. manages the complexities of multi-jurisdictional divorce in an efficient and cost-effective manner. If you are concerned about the out-of-state aspects of your divorce, trust our in-depth knowledge and experience. Call us today 305-670-8656 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Se habla español.