Interstate Child Custody Disputes

Experienced child custody lawyers

Interstate custody attorney St. Charles

Team MeetingIf parents residing in different states within the United States have contested interstate child custody disputes, questions may arise concerning which state will hear the matter.  The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was created to resolve conflicts between state courts over child custody issues.  The UCCJEA was originally drafted in 1997, and is the governing law of 49 states, the District of Colombia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Under the UCCJEA, child custody cases are to be heard in the child’s “home state.” The UCCJEA defines a child’s “home state” as the last state where the child has lived with at least one parent, for a period greater than six months prior to the commencement of the custody action.  If the child has not lived in any state in excess of six months, then a court in a state with substantial connections to the child may hear the matter.  Substantial connections may include the child’s historical home, past school attendance, the presence of family members and other factors evidencing an ongoing past relationship between the child and the state.

Once a court makes a child custody determination, that state has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction to hear all  future custody issues related to that child until either 1) both parents move from the state or 2) a court determines that the state no longer has significant connections to the child. In other words, once a court makes a custody determination, then a court of another state cannot modify or vacate that original order. A court of any State may, however, may enter orders whenever necessary to remedy a genuine emergency.

The UCCJEA may be used to register and enforce custody order from other States, as well as from foreign nations. Under the UCCJEA, if another court enters a proper court related to the custody of a child, then the order must be registered and enforced by any state that adopted the act.  For example, if a New York Court enters an order of child custody and one of the parents relocated to Illinois with the child, the Illinois Court is to register the New York Order and enforce the order on behalf of the New York court.

St. Charles interstate child custody laws

If your child has been removed to another state without your permission, or you feel that an inappropriate court is attempting to exercise jurisdiction over your child, then remedies may be available to you under the UCCJEA.  Peskind Law Firm has substantial experience resolving inter-state, custody issues related to child custody. Please contact Jenna Adams (Jenna@Peskindlaw.com) if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of the lawyers at the firm.

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