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Know the Laws: Florida

UPDATED April 12, 2017

Enforcing your Out-Of-State Order in Florida

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If you are planning to move to Florida or are going to be in Florida for any reason, your protection order can be enforced.

General rules for out-of-state orders in Florida

back to topCan I get my out-of-state protection order enforced in Florida? What about the custody provision in my protection order?

Yes. Your protection order can be enforced in Florida as long as it meets the requirements under federal law, explained in How do I know if my injunction (protection order) is good under federal law?

However, if you are trying to enforce a child custody, visitation or child support provision in an out-of-state protection order, this will not be enforced until the order is formally recorded (“domesticated”) in a Florida court,* which involves taking the order to a court and asking the clerk to file the injunction. There may be a filing fee for domestication. Once the injunction is filed, it is treated as though it was a Florida court decision.**  However, when you domesticate the order, the Florida court clerk will notify the abuser that the injunction has been filed.*** The abuser then has 30 days to contest (fight) Florida's jurisdiction over the injunction.****  You can file a petition to keep your address confidential from the abuser (form 980h “Petitioners Request for Confidential Filing of Address”), but the abuser would still receive the name and address of the courthouse and would know that you are in a particular county of Florida.  This could put your safety in danger.

For more information about what this means, how to domesticate the order and for other alternatives to domestication, please talk to a lawyer in FL who specializes in protection orders and custody matters. You can find a lawyer under the FL Finding a Lawyer page.

* Fla. Stat. § 741.315(4)(a)
** Fla. Stat. § 55.503
*** Fla. Stat. § 55.505
**** Fla. Stat. § 55.507

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back to topCan I have my out-of-state protection order changed, extended, or canceled in Florida?

No. Only the state that issued your protection order can change, extend, or cancel the order. You cannot have this done by a court in Florida.

To have your order changed, extended, or canceled, you will have to file a motion or petition in the court where the order was issued. You may be able to request that you attend the court hearing by telephone rather than in person, so that you do not need to return to the state where the abuser is living. To find out more information about how to modify a restraining order, see the Restraining Orders page for the state where your order was issued.

If your order does expire while you are living in Florida, you may be able to get a new one issued in Florida but this may be difficult to do if no new incidents of abuse have occurred in Florida.  To find out more information on how to get a protective order in Florida, visit our Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence page.

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