Enforcing Timesharing Rights from Out of State

In speaking with potential family law clients, the following situation arises often, “My former spouse and I were divorced in another state and my child now lives in Florida. My former spouse is making it difficult to have access and timesharing with my child, but I’m afraid that if I file an action in Florida to enforce my timesharing he or she will try to get more child support. Can they do that?”

Under the Florida Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), when a child support order is entered in one state and the other parent and child reside in a different state, there are provisions that provide limited immunity to the visiting parent from becoming subject to claims for modification of child support in the other state if the visiting parent initiates an action to enforce timesharing. For example, assume the parents were divorced in New York and the father is ordered to pay child support in the New York order. The mother and child move to Florida. If the father files an action to enforce his timesharing in Florida, where the mother and child live, there is limited immunity to the father that may protect him from being sued for more child support in Florida when he comes to the Florida court only to enforce his New York timesharing rights.