Ways to Prove Jurisdiction

Proving Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction is an essential part of filing for a divorce and something that people may take for granted. However, if you have just moved to Florida or have lived somewhere else, it can be a challenge. In order to file in Florida you must have lived in the state for a least six months and intend to reside here permanently. These are the most common ways to prove jurisdiction.

Most judges will ask to prove jurisdiction by reviewing the Florida driver’s license of the person who filed the petition. They will look to the date the license was issued to determine if they have lived in Florida for at least six months before filing.  If you have recently obtained a new Florida driver’s license and the issue date is less than six months from the date you filed you can bring your previous license as proof.  If you do not have a driver’s license, a Florida state ID card or a voter registration card will suffice.

Don’t have these documents? Another option is to have the a witness to prove they have lived in Florida for at least six months. This can be someone who comes to court to testify or someone who completes an affidavit. There is a standard affidavit to prove residency known as an affidavit of corroborating witness.  Anyone, other than your spouse, who knows that you have lived in the state of Florida for a least six months can sign the affidavit.  Only after jurisdiction has been proven can a Court accept jurisdiction and therefore be able to decide on the divorce.

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