WomensLaw is not just for women. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.

Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.

Legal Information: Florida


View all
January 27, 2020

I fled to Florida with my children to escape domestic violence. Can I get temporary emergency custody of my child in Florida even if another state is the child's "home state"?

Possibly. If you have come to Florida with your child because you, the child, or a sibling of the child is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse, you can apply for temporary emergency custody in a Florida court.1  If there is already a child custody order from another state or there is an ongoing custody case in another state, any temporary custody order issued by the Florida court would be valid for the period of time that the judge believes that it would take you to return to the original court to try to modify (change) the original order.2 

Getting temporary emergency custody can be difficult to do.  We strongly recommend that you get help from a lawyer if you are considering filing for temporary emergency custody. Go to FL Finding a Lawyer. For information on what state is the “home state,” please see Where can I file for child custody? (Which state has jurisdiction?)

1 F.S.A. § 61.517(1)
2 F.S.A. § 61.517(3)