Florida law has a long-arm statute that specifically addresses how to determine when the state courts have jurisdiction over cases involving parties outside of Florida. While you must meet specific requirements — and your spouse can potentially take legal action to dispute the jurisdiction — you probably can present a case to carry out your divorce under Florida law.
Where your spouse lives before you file for divorce or at the time you file most likely determines jurisdiction. According to statute 48.193(1)(e), which applies specifically to divorce-related alimony, child support or division of property, the matrimonial domicile must be maintained in the state. However, the law also applies if your spouse lived within the state during that period, even if they lived in a separate residence.
Note that the long-arm statute does not automatically apply. An experienced Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you take the appropriate, legally required action to begin the process, which has specific requirements, such as:
- The initial motion must illustrate applicability of the statute by alleging the appropriate facts pertaining to the Florida residency of your spouse.
- Your spouse has the opportunity to file a motion that disputes your allegations.
- Both spouses must provide evidence to support whether the long-arm statute applies, after which a judge makes a decision.
If your spouse moves out of state in an attempt to avoid being subjected to Florida divorce law, your case may become more complicated — but it is not impossible. With five decades of combined experience handling a wide array of Florida family law issues, the Boca Raton attorneys at Feldman & Schneiderman, P.L. understand the laws and processes needed to file an effective divorce case. If you mention this issue during your free initial consultation, we will let you know how we can help with these additional complexities.