Friday, October 16, 2009

Dismissal Of Petition To Modify A Foreign Child Custody Determination Reversed

In London v. London (2D08-3129), the Second District reversed the trial court's order "dismissing his petition to modify a foreign child custody determination for lack of jurisdiction."
Jennifer Ellen London initiated dissolution proceedings in 2005 in French Saint Martin, where the parties lived together with their daughter. The French court exercised its jurisdiction over the matter, entering numerous orders regarding custody over the next several years. Mr. London unsuccessfully appealed at least two of those orders and sought to modify the French court's custodial determination on a number of occasions. With the French court's permission, Mrs. London and the child have resided in Florida since 2005. Mr. London, by his admission, has lived in Florida since 2007.
The Florida court, based upon its review of the foreign documents, dismissed in part because it determined that the foreign court would not find Florida a more convenient forum. However, as required by statute, the Florida court never actually communicated directly with the foreign court. By failing to provide the French court with this statutorily mandated courtesy, the Florida court could not determine the French court's actual response to direct communication between two judicial fora.
*Disclaimer: GrayRobinson, P.A. was involved in the above-referenced action.


Post a Comment