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Full faith and credit for child custody and visitation orders

Sometimes after a custody and visitation order in Florida has been issued, one parent will later relocate to a different state. The parent may then wonder if the custody and visitation order that was issued by the Florida court will still apply in his or her new state.

In order to maintain consistency between the states and their enforcement of the custody orders, a federal statute mandates that states accept and enforce the custody orders issued by other states. The so-called "full faith and credit law" applies in all situations involving children under the age of 18. It also applies to temporary orders, permanent orders and modifications that have been made by the court in the home state.

In order to have the protection of the law, a parent must first seek and obtain an order through the court that has jurisdiction to hear the matter. If no order has been issued, then the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act as adopted in a particular state will apply. This law states that a petition for custody may be filed in a state in which a child has resided for at least six months. If the child is an infant younger than six months, then the appropriate court is one in the state in which the infant has lived with a parent since birth.

The relocation with a child to a new state after a child custody and visitation order has been issued may require a motion to modify the existing order. A court will make its determination about whether the move is in the best interests of the child, and attorneys for the respective parents will present arguments in that regard on behalf of their clients.

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The Law Firm of Chris E. Ragano, P.A.
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Tampa, FL 33629

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