The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a federal act that has been adopted by almost every state. Every case in Florida involving minor children requires the filing of a UCCJEA Affidavit.
What if children issues are not in dispute?
The Affidavit should be filed in cases involving parental responsibility for, or time-sharing or visitation with, any minor children involved in the action. This Affidavit is required even if the issues involving the minor children are not in dispute.
Purpose of the UCCJEA:
Florida statutes set forth the requirements in order for a Florida court to make an initial child custody determination. This is part of the UCCJEA.
This law requires the court to make a determination on whether it has jurisdiction (legally binding authority) to hear your child custody case.
A Florida court can make an initial child custody ruling if Florida is the “home state” of the child on the date the action is commenced. Even if the child is not longer present in the state, Florida can be found as the child’s “home state” if the child lived there within six months before the action was initiated, and at least one parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in Florida.
What information needs to be included in the UCCJEA Affidavit?
The Affidavit details all information about any previous cases involving the minor children, as well as the children’s addresses for the last five (5) years.
Here is a list of the specific questions and information that need to be included in the UCCJEA Affidavit:
- Child’s information and addresses: The name, place of birth, birth date, and sex of each child; the present address, periods of residence, and places where each child has lived within the past five (5) years; and the name, present address, and relationship to the child of each person with whom the child has lived with during that time.
- Whether the petitioner (person filing the UCCJEA Affidavit) has participated as a party, witness, or in any capacity in any other litigation or custody proceeding in this or any other state, jurisdiction, or country, concerning parental responsibility for, custody of, or time-sharing or visitation with a child subject to the action.
- Whether the petitioner has information of any parental responsibility, custody, time-sharing, or visitation proceeding pending in any state, jurisdiction, or country concerning a child subject to this proceeding.
- Whether the petitioner knows of any person in any state, jurisdiction, or country, who is not a party to the action and who has physical custody or claims to have parental responsibility for, custody of, or time-sharing or visitation with respect to any child subject to the action.
- Whether the child described in the Affidavit described in this affidavit is subject to existing child support order(s) in any state, jurisdiction, or country.
If you have questions about filing an action involving a minor child, it’s best to ask a qualified family law attorney. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your position, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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