Establish Child Visitation From Another State

by Luis from Las Vegas, Nevada

I'm trying to establish visitation with my child. My ex-girlfriend moved to Miami, Florida 2 years ago without my knowledge.


I don't know where she is at besides I know for sure she is in Miami.

I live in Las Vegas, Nevada.

She came to town and filed child support on me and now we have that established so I can pay the courts.

However, when I went to file for partial custody so my daughter can come to me in the summer and such they told me it was out of Las Vegas jurisdiction because she has been gone longer than 6 months. I need to file in Florida.

I have wrote her via Myspace and she never writes back. I have been offering to pay her for a year and she kept saying no and then she came to Vegas to file on me anyways. I am on the birth certificate.

This is definitely my child. I don't have much money to hire an attorney and I am trying to do this on my own. Can you please help. So my questions are:

• What do I need to fill out to file for partial custody of my child?

• Where do I file?

• Can I do this from Las Vegas?

• How do I find her in Miami so that this is even possible?

Thank you so much for your help in advance.

Answer to Florida Child Visitation Question

Dear Luis,

Yes, you can petition the court for visitation rights.

But, before anything can be done, you must find where the child and the mother resides.

Given the fact that it has been 2 years since she moved to Miami, you may be able to locate her using one of the online people locate services.

Otherwise, you will need to hire a private investigator, which might be prohibitively expensive. We highly recommend the Instant People Search service by Intelius.

Once you know where she lives, you can have her properly served with your petition. In your case, you would start by filing the Petition to Determine Paternity and for Related Relief, Form 12.983(a) form and the other supporting forms that the instructions point out.

You can download all of these forms from the State of Florida Court Forms Index page.

Don't let the title of the form mislead you. This form will address all of your concerns even though you have already admitted paternity. Take a look at our web-powered instructions page for Form 12.983(a). It will prove very useful for you.

You will have to complete a Parenting Plan and Visitation Schedule that addresses long distance time sharing. Once you have filled out and notarized all your documents, you will need to find a certified Process Server in the county where she lives or works to have the child's mother properly served with the petition.

You can also use their services to file your documents with the court, otherwise you will have to do it yourself. These kind of cases can become very complex especially if your case is contested by the child's mother.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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