Can 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,1 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.2 However, when you domesticate the order, the Florida court clerk will notify the abuser that the injunction has been filed.3 The abuser then has 30 days to contest (fight) Florida’s jurisdiction over the injunction.4 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.
1 Fla. Stat. § 741.315(4)(a)
2 Fla. Stat. § 55.503
3 Fla. Stat. § 55.505
4 Fla. Stat. § 55.507