When parents in Saratoga decide to separate, generally they each have a right to build a relationship with children from the union. There are some exceptions which may include domestic violence or if a parent is accused of a crime and in these instances, a parent may be given sole custody of the children.  However, if one parent is from another country, then a child custody arrangement can often end up in the courts, especially if one parent is seeking sole custody or intends to take the children to that country.

A family court in Miami and a tribal court on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation have been brought into a child custody dispute and it is unclear which court may have legal jurisdiction. The mother, who is a member of the Indian tribe, was granted temporary custody of the children by a tribal court, claiming that she is the sole financial provider for the children and that the children have been living with her on the reservation.

However the father, who is not a member of the tribe, claims that he has a relationship with his children and has asked the Miami-Dade court to intervene. The question is where the children lived before the legal fight began.  If the children lived on the reservation than the tribal court has jurisdiction and if the children did not live on the reservation than the Miami-Dade court can claim jurisdiction. Until that is decided, the child custody issue itself remains at a stand-still.

Child custody cases can often be complex. When someone is facing a child custody dispute, it may be a good idea to meet with an experienced attorney who can provide legal information and advice.

Source: Miami Herald, “Child custody case tests jurisdiction of Miccosukee, Miami-Dade courts,” David Ovalle, July 7, 2013