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Divorce For Couples Who Have Recently Moved To Florida


In some divorce cases, the court must first decide whether the Florida courts are the proper forum for dissolving the marriage or resolving issues related to parenting time or modification of alimony or child support.  These cases often involve couples who moved to Florida just a few months before they separated.  Some cases like these also involve families where one spouse moved to Florida without the other, and in order to rule on disputes related to parenting time, the courts must first determine which state is the children’s primary residence.  Sometimes, though, other factors can affect whether Florida is the proper forum for the divorce case, even when both spouses have been living in Florida for more than a year by the time they file for divorce.  If you divorce recently after moving to Florida, or if you have entanglements in other states that affect your divorce case, contact a Boca Raton family law attorney.

Thirty-Six Witnesses, and None of Them Live in Florida

Most divorces can be accomplished without going to trial, even though it is a good idea to hire a divorce lawyer even if you are determined to reach an agreement with your spouse during mediation.  If the parties reach an impasse about parenting time, division of property, or some other major decision, a judge must rule on the case.  In cases like these, the parties often offer different versions of events about, for example, one spouse’s income or earning potential or about whether a change in primary physical custody would improve the children’s health or school performance.  If the case goes to trial, the parties often summon witnesses, including extended family members, accountants, vocational counselors, and physicians and psychologists who have treated the parties or their children.

By the time Paul and Julie’s divorce was ready for trial, the parties had identified 36 witnesses that they planned to call to testify at their trial, including seven expert witnesses.  The trouble is that all of the witnesses lived in Michigan, where Paul and Julie had lived from the time of their wedding until they moved to Florida with their two children in 2018.  They filed for divorce in Florida in 2019, but Paul argued that the Michigan courts should decide their case; making 36 witnesses travel to Florida for a trial created a significant burden; the legal term for this problem is forum non conveniens.  The trial court summarily rejected Paul’s motion to move the case to Michigan, but the appeals court reversed the decision, enabling the parties to present arguments for and against moving the proceedings to Michigan.

Let Us Help You Today

If most of your marriage took place before you moved to Florida, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you persuade the court that Florida is or is not the proper forum for the trial.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation on your case.



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