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US father using UCCJEA in the state of Florida

by pannylane / Posted 18/01/2012 / Updated 02/02/2012

Im a British national with a US spouse and a child born in the US. Our last residence as a family was in South Korea where spouse worked for the DoD. In December 201o we visited the United Kingdom for a holiday. Spouse and I decided that we had had enough of moving around with his job and wanted to settle here in the UK. Spouse left us both here, with assurances to myself, friends, and family that he would be returning permenantly as soo as possible. Spouse returned to South Korea where he was supposed to begin applying for UK transfers and also to begin sending our belongings to us, which included my photography equipment so I could set up my photography business in the UK. Spouse returned to the USA at the end of February 2011, telling me he was going on "exercise" to another base in South Korea. Spouse returns froom Florida, I find out he lied. He tells me he wants a divorce. I try to encourage him to come to the UK so we can have some counselling/mediation. He refuses. Spouse suggests we gen an "online" divorce and that I should send minor child for a "vacation" to South Korea. At first I dont see why this should be a problem. Friends urge me to seek legal advice. I tell spouse Im seeking legal advice. Spouse tells me if I decide to hire a solicitor then I will leave him with no choice but to litigate for full custody of minor child. And so ensues a year long battle...spouse quits his jobe, permenantly returns to the USA. Refuses to come to the UK to visit son, refuses to Skypes with son saying his lawyer has told him not to. Spouse calls twice a week to speak with son. Spouse has returned very little of our belongings, has witheld the equipmkent I need to start my photography business. Spouse has been paying $600 a month child support and gave me money for a deposit on a flat. In the meantime I recieve inaccurate direction from my solicitor to wait a year beofor I file for divorce. November I recieve divorce papers from the State of Florida demanding son goes to move permenantly in Florida. Also demanding I am financially responsible for debts (house) from which spouse has evicted our renter and allowed the bank to foreclose upon without my knowledge.I fire solicitor and hire new one, who immediatly applies for an emergency residence order, which was successfuly issued in December 2011. Spouse ignores all correspondance from court, spouse denys any knowledge of custody proceedings in his UCCJEA affidavit. Spouse is claiming I have hidden son from him (I would not let spouse have our exact address as advise by previous solicitor) and claims Im refusing to share time with son (not correct, hes been invited for supervised contact until the matter is fully resolved through the courts) Spouse is claiming PAS. Florida lawyer has advised me to reply to the court with a motion to dismiss based on:
1) We last lived together as a family in South Korea
2) We have never lived as a family in Florida
3)Child is a habitual resident of the United Kingdom and has a residency order attached in favor of UK residency.
Is this correct? Im at my wits end on how to approach this. I have extremely limited income and dont know where to go from here, the proceedings for the residency order in theis country have already cost a lot and Im rapidly running out of funds.

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