Child Custody Across State Lines

UCCJEABy Matt Allen

Editor, DadsDivorce.com

Child custody cases frequently involve multiple states due to a party moving post-divorce or even during the divorce process.

A common acronym is mentioned during any dispute involving child custody cases across state lines: UCCJEA.

UCCJEA stands for Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It’s a set of uniform laws states have enacted that outlines the process of avoiding jurisdictional competition by the courts in matters of child custody and to promote cooperation with all the states and help enforce the court decrees of other states, according to the attorneys at the domestic litigation firm Cordell & Cordell.

Basically, the court that originally determined child custody would retain exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over any and all issues arising out the custody of the child.

Jennifer Paine, a Cordell & Cordell Michigan attorney, said the UCCJEA vests continuing, exclusive jurisdiction for child custody cases in the child’s “home state,” i.e. where the child has lived for six consecutive months prior to commencing the case (or the child’s entire life).

There are cases where the original state may no longer exercise jurisdiction though as part of the “home state” determination under the UCCJEA, said Cordell & Cordell attorney William Halaz.

One of the reasons would be if none of the parties still live in the original state. The original state would also lose jurisdiction if the court determines that neither the child, the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with the original state, and that substantial evidence is no longer available in the original state concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

Fathers also wonder about paying child support if a child has been emancipated in one state and then moves to another state with a higher age of majority.

But the UCCJEA holds that if the child has already been emancipated in the original state in a court order, the new state may not “un-emancipate” the child, according to Halaz.

If the UCCJEA applies in your case, then the motioning parent may file an action in the children’s current state to request that the prior state’s court relinquish its control to the new state’s court, according to Paine.

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48 Comments on "Child Custody Across State Lines"

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Mike
5 days 19 hours ago

Can I leave state and relocate with my son to another state prior to any court custody orders? We have not even filed with any court yet.

Alli
1 month 2 days ago
I am in the process of getting full costody of my son. I live in NY state the father of my son and myself were never married so neither of us have rights as of right now. I plan on moving to California in the near future but I am unsure of how to go about this process or what rights I have. I left my son’s father becase he was physically and verbally abusive to me for 5 years and he had started yelling at our son who is onlying 6 months old in need any advice I can… Read more »
Jeannette
1 month 5 days ago

Child support

KATHY BURNS
1 month 16 days ago

I HAVE CUSTODY OF MY GRANDDAUGHTER, IN THE STATE OF MARYLAND HER FATHER MOVED TO GEORGIA AND ASK IF HE CAN TAKE HER , WHICH WAS OK WITH ME SHE WANTED A PARENT IN HER LIFE, SHE IS NOW 17 YEARS OF AGE SHE RAN AWAY FROM HOME BACK TO MARYLAND BECAUSE OF VERBAL ABUSE FROM HER FATHER HE IS NOW TRYING TO HAVE HER SENT BACK TO GEORGIA SHE WILL BE 18 IN MARCH

Roger Throop
1 month 26 days ago

I have sole physical and joint legal custody of our 8yr old son. My ex moved out of Arizona to Pennsylvania without telling our son she was leaving or saying goodbye. Now she is paying for the round trip ticket for him to visit this summer. I am a nervous wreck about sending him across state lines and the things she might pull. I don’t know what to do .

Chanty
2 months 29 days ago

I moved from NY while I was preganant, I was visiting my mother in NY and had my daughter then left to go back home to PA. Now my ex (not proven to be the father) is taking me to NY courts and my daughter has never lived in there. Can he do this? Legally PA is her home state he would have to file in PA?

A.F.
1 month 17 days ago

There will be a dna test. Plus wherever she has lived for at least 6 months will be her home state and that is where the custody hearing will be, if he is proven to be her dad.

Sandra
3 months 10 days ago
This situation involves a friend of mine and my husbands. Our friend got married in California with the plan that both of them would move to North Carolina. They made the move with her 7 year old son. The new wife immediately became pregnant and after about 4 or 5 months moved her son and herself back to California. She wanted to be near her mother and simply hated not being in city. The long distance relationship has deteriorated to where it has no chance of success. Mother and father are completely opposed about where to live. They married with… Read more »
Shenna crowner
3 months 16 days ago
Hi my name is Shenna and I live in SC ,if I wanted to leave that state to go back home to MD with my kids can there dad charge me with kidnapping? We are not married but been together 8 years .I want out and take my kids with me ,can I do that? They was born in MD.And can I file for child support once I get there?8 years Together and 2 daughters and he treats me like dirt,I know he don’t love me but keeps the relationship cause he does not want to pay child support ,I… Read more »
Shenna crowner
3 months 16 days ago
Hi my name is Shenna and I live in SC ,if I wanted to leave that state to go back home to MD with my kids can there dad charge me with kidnapping? We are not married but been together 8 years .I want out and take my kids with me ,can I do that? They was born in MD.And can I file for child support once I get there?8 years Together and 2 daughters and he treats me like dirt,I know he don’t love me but keeps the relationship cause he does not want to pay child support ,I… Read more »
james
3 months 19 days ago

My son, 14, is living with his mom and her hhusband. I’ve moved to il. 2 years ago. Hardest thing I’ve ever ddone my gets to come up here for the summers. 2 months a year. He doesn’t want to be there, he wants to be here with me. They don’t treat him well. Constant arguments and yelling. They don’t listen to him when he speaks, they constantly talk over him, interrupt him or just tell him to go away. What can we do?

james
3 months 19 days ago

He is in az, sorry.

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