Largo Family Law questions/updates
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Largo Family Law questions/updates

Case Law & Subject Matter Jurisdiction re: Residential requirement

by Jerome Williams on 08/07/16

Hamilton v. Michieli, 954 So 2d 739 (Fla 3d DCA 2007).  Where husband filed a sworn petition for dissolution of marriage in which he alleged under oath that he had been a resident of Florida for at least 6 consecutive months immediately prior to filing, and the wife filed an answer admitting jurisdiction and a counter petition, the trial court erred in granting subsequently filed motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction in which husband alleged that neither party could legally remain in the United States and that he was present in the United States under a visa that was due to expire and could not be renewed.  It is residency at the time of the petition that must be examined, and subsequent changes in residency are irrelevant to court's examination of subject-matter jurisdiction.


Weber v. Weber, 929 So 2d 1165 (Fla 2d DCA 2006).  Non-immigrant alien wife was not precluded from establishing residency for purpose of filing action for dissolution of marriage, and thus trial court had subject matter jurisdiction to proceed with her dissolution of marriage action.  Residency under dissolution of marriage statute means an actual presence in the state of Florida coupled with an intention at that time to make Florida the residence.  Evidence supported finding that non-immigrant alien wife wife resided in state of Florida for a requisite six-month period and that she had bona fide intent to remain in Florida indefinitely for purpose of filing action for dissolution of marriage; wife testified that both she and husband had Florida driver's licenses and bank accounts, she was continuous resident for almost 10 years, she was enrolled as student in nursing program at community college in Florida, and she testified that she intended to reside in Florida permanently, at least as long as she was permitted to do so by the United States government.