By: Curtis Wiberg
In our mobile society, it is not an uncommon occurrence for parents to obtain custody orders in one state, and for both parents and the children to later reside in other states, soon after. This can make resolution of subsequent conflicts involving parenting time (visitation) complicated.
Every state in the country has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to address these parenting time or custody issues that involve multiple states, which gives parents and courts predictability as these multi-state issues arise.
Generally speaking, the UCCJEA provides a series of guidelines such that only one state can have subject matter jurisdiction or authority to determine custody orders at a time. This is known as the “home state”, and it is usually determined by the state where a minor child has resided for the most recent six continuous months prior to the initial court custody filing. Once a state assumes home state jurisdiction, that home state has exclusive home state jurisdiction to modify custody orders until such time as both parents and the children no longer reside in the home state, or because the home state becomes an inconvenient forum and gives up it’s exclusive jurisdiction. Interstate jurisdictional authorization for a court to establish, modify, or enforce a child custody order differs, depending on the circumstances. Continue reading