Section 61.516, Florida Statutes

Jurisdiction to modify a determination.—

Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.517, a court of this state may not modify a child custody determination made by a court of another state unless a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under s. 61.514(1)(a) or (b) and:

(1)The court of the other state determines it no longer has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under s. 61.515 or that a court of this state would be a more convenient forum under s. 61.520; or

(2)A court of this state or a court of the other state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in the other state.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.515, Florida Statutes

Exclusive, continuing jurisdiction.—

(1)Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.517, a court of this state which has made a child custody determination consistent with s. 61.514 or s. 61.516 has exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the determination until:

(a)A court of this state determines that the child, the child’s parents, and any person acting as a parent do not have a significant connection with this state and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships; or

(b)A court of this state or a court of another state determines that the child, the child’s parent, and any person acting as a parent do not presently reside in this state.

(2)A court of this state which has made a child custody determination and does not have exclusive, continuing jurisdiction under this section may modify that determination only if it has jurisdiction to make an initial determination under s. 61.514.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.514, Florida Statutes

Initial child custody jurisdiction.—

(1)Except as otherwise provided in s. 61.517, a court of this state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(a)This state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this state;

(b)A court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (a), or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that this state is the more appropriate forum under s. 61.520 or s. 61.521, and:

1.The child and the child’s parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent, have a significant connection with this state other than mere physical presence; and

2.Substantial evidence is available in this state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships;

(c)All courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that a court of this state is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under s. 61.520 or s. 61.521; or

(d)No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria specified in paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c).

(2)Subsection (1) is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this state.

(3)Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is not necessary or sufficient to make a child custody determination.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.513, Florida Statutes

Cooperation between courts; preservation of records.—

(1)A court of this state may request the appropriate court of another state to:

(a)Hold an evidentiary hearing;

(b)Order a person to produce or give evidence pursuant to the laws of that state;

(c)Order that an evaluation be made with respect to the custody of a child involved in a pending proceeding pursuant to the laws of the state where the proceeding is pending;

(d)Forward to the court of this state a certified copy of the transcript of the record of the hearing, the evidence otherwise presented, and any evaluation prepared in compliance with the request; or

(e)Order a party to a child custody proceeding or any person having physical custody of the child to appear in the proceeding with or without the child.

(2)Upon request of a court of another state, a court of this state may hold a hearing or enter an order described in subsection (1).

(3)Travel and other necessary and reasonable expenses incurred under subsections (1) and (2) may be assessed against the parties according to the laws of this state if the court has personal jurisdiction over the party against whom these expenses are being assessed.

(4)A court of this state shall preserve the pleadings, orders, decrees, records of hearings, evaluations, and other pertinent records with respect to a child custody proceeding until the child attains 18 years of age. Upon appropriate request by a court or law enforcement official of another state, the court shall forward a certified copy of these records.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.512, Florida Statutes

Taking testimony in another state.—

(1)In addition to other procedures available to a party, a party to a child custody proceeding may offer testimony of witnesses who are located in another state, including testimony of the parties and the child, by deposition or other means available in this state for testimony taken in another state. The court on its own motion may order that the testimony of a person be taken in another state and may prescribe the manner in which and the terms upon which the testimony is taken.

(2)Upon agreement of the parties, a court of this state may permit an individual residing in another state to be deposed or to testify by telephone, audiovisual means, or other electronic means before a designated court or at another location in that state. A court of this state shall cooperate with courts of other states in designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.

(3)Documentary evidence transmitted from another state to a court of this state by technological means that do not produce an original writing may not be excluded from evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.511, Florida Statutes

Communication between courts.—

(1)A court of this state may communicate with a court in another state concerning a proceeding arising under this part.

(2)The court shall allow the parties to participate in the communication. If the parties elect to participate in the communication, they must be given the opportunity to present facts and legal arguments before a decision on jurisdiction is made.

(3)Communication between courts on schedules, calendars, court records, and similar matters may occur without informing the parties. A record need not be made of the communication.

(4)Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), a record must be made of a communication under this section. The parties must be informed promptly of the communication and granted access to the record.

(5)For purposes of this section, the term “record” means a form of information, including, but not limited to, an electronic recording or transcription by a court reporter which creates a verbatim memorialization of any communication between two or more individuals or entities.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.510, Florida Statutes

Appearance and limited immunity.—

(1)A party to a child custody proceeding, including a modification proceeding, or a petitioner or respondent in a proceeding to enforce or register a child custody determination, is not subject to personal jurisdiction in this state for another proceeding or purpose solely by reason of having participated, or of having been physically present for the purpose of participating, in the proceeding.

(2)A person who is subject to personal jurisdiction in this state on a basis other than physical presence is not immune from service of process in this state. A party present in this state who is subject to the jurisdiction of another state is not immune from service of process allowable under the laws of that state.

(3)The immunity granted by subsection (1) does not extend to civil litigation based on an act unrelated to the participation in a proceeding under this part which was committed by an individual while present in this state.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

 

 

 

Section 61.509, Florida Statutes

Notice to persons outside the state.—

(1)Notice required for the exercise of jurisdiction when a person is outside this state may be given in a manner prescribed by the laws of the state in which the service is made. Notice must be given in a manner reasonably calculated to give actual notice, but may be made by publication if other means are not effective.

(2)Proof of service may be made in the manner prescribed by the laws of the state in which the service is made.

(3)Notice is not required for the exercise of jurisdiction with respect to a person who submits to the jurisdiction of the court.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.508, Florida Statutes

Priority.—If a question of existence or exercise of jurisdiction under this part is raised in a child custody proceeding, the question, upon request of a party, must be given priority on the calendar and handled expeditiously.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.

Section 61.507, Florida Statutes

Effect of child custody determination.—A child custody determination made by a court of this state which had jurisdiction under this part binds all persons who have been served in accordance with the laws of this state or notified in accordance with s. 61.509 or who have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, and who have been given an opportunity to be heard. As to those persons, the determination is conclusive as to all decided issues of law and fact except to the extent the determination is modified.

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.