Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

Child Custody and Visitation in Martin County, Florida

In a child custody and visitation proceeding, a Court may exercise home state jurisdiction if at any time during the six months preceding the filing of the petition, Florida was the child's home state. InBarnes v. Barnes the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: "This court has concluded that section 61.514(1)(a) permits the exercise of home state jurisdiction if, at any time during the six months preceding the filing of the custody proceeding, Florida qualified as the child's home state. Sarpel v.Eflanli, 65 So. 3d 1080,1084 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011)...

The case of M.A.C v. M.D.H., 88 So. 3d 1050 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012), is instructive...The father filed his petition for relief on December 9, 2010. On appeal from the trial court's ruling that Florida was not the home state of the child, the appellate court found: Here, the trial court failed to look back to June 9, 2010, six months prior to the filing of the father's petition, to determine if Florida qualified as the home state at any time between June 9, 2010, and December 9, 2010, the date he filed his petition.,. . Based on the parties' agreement on these dates, the mother lived in Florida with [the child] from January 3, 2010, until September 7,2010, a total of eight consecutive months. September 7, 2010, is within the six-month period prior to the father's filing of his petition. Thus, Florida qualifies as the home state under the UCCJEA and the South County court had jurisdiction to make the initial time-sharing determination. Id. at 1054-55. In the present case, following M.A. C., we look back to six months prior to the date of the father's petition, or June 8,2011, and determine whether Florida qualified as the home state of the minor children at any time between then and December 8, 2011. On June 8,2011 the parties' two minor children had been living in Florida with both parents for approximately eight months. The mother left Florida after living here with the two children for approximately ten months and within the six-month period prior to the father's filing of the petition, thereby making Florida the home state of the two minor children at the time of the petition. Thus, the trial court erred in declining to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that the home state, of the, minor children was Colorado under the UCCJEA."

To speak with a Martin County, Florida child custody and visitation attorney, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at 561-328-1095

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