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Complex Jurisdictional Issues

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.


Lawrence  S.  Katz Attorney Photo
Lawrence S. Katz

For many years, Lawrence S. Katz has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States and abroad. He has earned an excellent worldwide reputation for providing knowledgeable, quality representation in cross border family law matters and child abduction. He serves as counsel, co-counsel, consultant and expert witness.

Client Reviews
  • google

    I had a great experience with Smith & Kurbatova while applying for my green card. They made me feel like family and guided me every step of the way. I can't recommend them enough!

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    Esther Robertson

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    It turned out that Larry Katz, who came highly recommended, was the best legal alternative. His extensive knowledge and open communication reassured me. When dealing with a serious child custody issue, I felt I had to secure the best bargain possible...

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    Henry Ellis

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    The best legal option turned out to be Larry Katz, who came highly recommended. I felt reassured by his in-depth expertise and transparent communication. I realized I had to get the finest deal when dealing with a crucial child custody matter. Larry'...

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    Sophia Jackson

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    Larry Katz is a legal genius in international family law.

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    Stephen Craig

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    As I look back, I am immensely grateful to Larry Katz and his team. They turned what could have been a prolonged and arduous legal battle into a swift and successful resolution. Larry's professionalism, clear communication, and strategic approach are...

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    Olivia Martin

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