Joint Custody Out of State

by Anonymous from USA

I have a 14 month old daughter with a man that I was never married to. He hardly ever sees or checks on her and he is behind in child support. He has recently filed for joint custody (every other weekend).

He filed in the county where he lives in, in Florida and I live in another state.

Can he go to court without me (I have not been served court papers) and can that case be dropped for filing in the wrong county?

I moved out of state before I found out about the filing and after he was already behind in child support. Can I get in trouble for leaving the state?

My daughter does not have his last name and he is not on the birth certificate. Also, how can I get the child support dropped?

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Anonymous,

If you had left Florida after discovering or being served with documents to modify child visitation, you may have done something wrong.

However, since he filed after you had already left the state, and had little or no contact with your child, then there is likely little he can do.

If in good faith, you left the state with the belief that he was not interested in being part of the child's life; and had more or less abandoned her; then I don't see how you can be guilty of any wrongdoing.

A request from a mother to stop receiving child support is rare.

If you don't want it and don't need it, you can inform the Florida Department of Revenue that you do not need their assistance in child support enforcement.

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