Will I Need An Out-Of-State Attorney?

child custody across state linesQuestion:

My wife and I are in the process of getting a divorce and she moved with our kids to her parents’ house in another state. Do I need to get an attorney in the state she is living in at any point in the proceedings?


Please note that I am licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my knowledge and experience in Pennsylvania.

With respect to where a custody matter should be litigated, all states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, which determines the proper jurisdiction in which a custody matter should be brought. Succinctly, custody matters should be brought in the child’s home state, which is where the children have resided in the last six months.

Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins
Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins

Your argument for jurisdiction in your state will depend on when your wife moved to there with the children. As there may be a benefit to litigating custody in one state versus the other, you should consult with an attorney(s) barred in both states to discuss the facts of your case further and your arguments regarding jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Jaimie Collins, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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