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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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My wife, who resides in NY, has received a notice to appear

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My wife, who resides in NY, has received a notice to appear in Florida, from family services, a notice to appear down there. This has something to do with custody of her 13 year old daughter who, by agreement has been with the father who now is in jail for defrauding the government out of $22,000. My wife did not know any addresses for the daughter or the father who took her out of NJ 4 years ago. The father and my wife were never married and he refused to sign the birth certificate. Now they are making the threat that if my wife does not appear on 14th of April she "may lose" custody rights. We do not have the ability to be traveling back and forth to Florida and as my wife has never lived in Florida does she have to recognize their threats in NY ? It seems they would have to file in NY.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Actually Florida does have jurisdiction, because the child's homestate has been in Florida all this time. Further this is not a child custody case but a child protection case since the child is now left without a parent in Florida. That state has jurisdiction on this case and does require mom to come to Florida to claim her daughter. If mom does not come the child can be considered abandoned by both of her parents and the child can be made a ward of the state which can eventually mean losing parental rights. So these are not threats but what can actually happen. NY has no jurisdiction on a child protection case, so they are not required to file anything in NY.

Mom need to go to Florida or she can lose her rights to her daughter.


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