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Can FL courts have temporary jurisdiction in child custody cases?

It is possible for a Florida court to gain temporary jurisdiction of a child in child custody cases, in certain situations. The child must be physically present in the state of Florida, and the child appears to have been abandoned by their custodial parents or legal guardian.

It is also possible for a Florida court to gain temporary jurisdictional child custody of a minor, if the court deems it an emergency to protect the child. This can happen because either the child in question or the child's sibling or parent has either been subjected to or under threat of being mistreated or abused.

It is important to note, if the court is not aware of any pre-existing child custody determination that is enforceable, Florida courts will enforce that determination. In addition, if there is a pending child custody proceeding that is ongoing in a court of a state that has jurisdiction over the child, then any child custody determinations made by a Florida court will also remain in effect.

Consequently, if there are no pending child custody determination proceedings in any other state court. As a result, any determination brought about in a Florida court will become final, and Florida will become the home state of the child.

A preexisting child custody determination is legally enforceable. If a child custody proceeding in another state court is pending, then any court orders issued by a Florida state court must specify an adequate period of time that allows the person seeking the order to obtain it from the state that has enforceable jurisdiction over the child's custody. In the interim, any orders issued by the Florida court will remain in effect until that order is obtained to the satisfaction of the Florida court within the specified period or until the period expires.

Source:, "Temporary emergency jurisdiction," accessed on Dec. 22, 2014

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