Uniform Child Custody Joint Enforcement Act – Home State

Florida’s Uniform Child Custody Joint Enforcement Act, codified in Chapter 61 of the Florida statutes, governs the courts’ jurisdiction to make and modify “child-custody determinations,” a term that expressly includes custody and visitation orders. It requires Florida courts to enforce valid child-custody and visitation determinations made by courts in other states.

The statute defines home state as where the child lived with a parent for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. It provides that Florida has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination if Florida was the home state of the child within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from Florida but a parent continues to live here, if no other state has jurisdiction.

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Chapter 39 Termination of Parental Rights

In Florida, a termination of parental rights (TPR) proceeding begins with the filing of a TPR petition to terminate parental rights.  This petition must contain allegations that at least one of the grounds listed in Fla. Stat. § 39.806, exists, that termination is in the manifest best interests of the child, and that the TPR is the least restrictive means of protecting the child from harm.

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