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Jurisdiction is important in child custody actions

For Florida residents who are preparing to divorce, the manner in which that process is initiated can inform and shape both the process and the eventual outcome. That is especially true in regard to child custody cases, where laws vary from state to state. An individual who carefully plans his or her divorce and child custody strategy can achieve a significant advantage when the time comes to file. Jurisdiction is everything when it comes to family law matters.

A parent who anticipates a lengthy or contentious child custody battle should think carefully about where his or her best interests lie prior to filing for divorce. Filing in a state that has advantageous custody laws in place can make a world of difference in the outcome of the case. In order to file in another jurisdiction, there are often residency requirements that must be met.

Some individuals meet those requirements by relocating to a new state and temporarily living with a friend or family member until the required period of time has been reached. In other cases, a spouse will accept a job in the more beneficial state and relocate with the children while the other spouse stays behind to handle the sale of the home or other family matters. A similar outcome can occur if the party who wishes to seek a divorce is the one who remains in place with the children while his or her spouse relocates for work or other purposes.

When a change of jurisdiction is even remotely possible, Florida parents should take the time to research where their best interests lie. If a child custody case can be simplified by relocating to a more favorable jurisdiction, many parents are willing to take that step. At the end of the day, achieving an outcome that is right for the needs of shared children is the most important focal point in any child custody matter.

Source: texaslawyer.com, "Jurisdictional Challenges More Complex in Divorce and Child Custody Actions", Carson Epes Steinbauer, Aug. 21, 2017

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