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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118175
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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I'm a FL resident and just dissolved my marriage in FL

Customer Question

Hello-I'm a FL resident and just dissolved my marriage in FL however the judge is denying me child support because the biological father lives in another state. Is this correct, can I be denied? The father had even defaulted during the divorce. Thank you, Michelle
Submitted: 2 years ago via TexasChild-Custody.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you and the child are residents of FL, but the father is not, the FL court cannot exercise jurisdiction over the father. This means they can force you to contact an attorney in the state where the father is located to file for support OR you can go through child support enforcement services in FL and they will go through the state where the father is located to establish child support and pursue the matter against the father where he resides.

It is not you are being denied support, it is just that the FL court cannot get jurisdiction over him to enforce such an order. So you have to go through a court in the state where he resides that does have personal jurisdiction over him and you can do that through child support enforcement in FL or in the state where he is located to do so.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay I understand this piece. However, is this a new jurisdiction the State of FL recently put into place? When I filed for divorce in Nov of 2014, this was evidently not an issue per my current family law attorney in FL. The divorce just got dissolved end of July. So I'm not sure if State or Attorney is hosing me and why this wasn't disclosed at time of filing? I have paid thousands of dollars on time spent for financial affidavits, forms, etc that I would have never done if this was always the case. Thank you, Michelle
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

FL is supposed to have jurisdiction over the child support when the parent submits to the jurisdiction in FL. However, where the father has never appeared, so FL courts do not have personal jurisdiction, they will defer to the state that has jurisdiction, that is the issue. Since he never came to FL at all or answered the divorce and it was done by default, the FL court can decline to even try to exercise jurisdiction because you would still have to go to his state to try to enforce it anyhow. That is where child support enforcement can help.