When parents of a child live in different states and a custody issue arises, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) dictates which state’s courts will have jurisdiction over the child custody dispute at hand. First drafted in 1997 and since adopted by the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all U.S. states (except for Massachusetts, which is in the process of adopting the UCCJEA), the UCCJEA lays out specific rules for determining jurisdiction according to the following (which are listed in order of priority):
- The court in the child’s home state or the state that had been the child’s home state within the past six months will preside over custody disputes over state borders.
- If jurisdiction cannot be determined according to the above rule (because, for example, the child has two home states or spent an equal amount of time in two different states), then the state with which the child and at least one parent have a significant connection (such as family connections within that state) will preside over the custody dispute.
- If jurisdiction cannot be determined by either of the above rules, than any state with which the child has a connection will be chosen as the state that has jurisdiction over the case.
While child custody disputes are complex and highly emotional in and of themselves, they can be further complicated when the parents live in different states, making it increasingly important that parents have a lawyer on their side who will advocate and fight for their rights.
Colorado Family Law attorneys
When it comes to going through a divorce, battling for child custody or dealing with any matter of family law, such as parental visitation rights, do not try to settle the case without the help of a skilled family lawyer. Working with the Colorado family law attorneys at the Law Office of Mike Hulen can be essential to ensuring that your rights are fully protected and that your family law matters are resolved as favorably as possible. For years, we have been successful at helping our Clients negotiate favorable divorce settlements, child custody agreements, alimony payments, etc. Contact us at (303) 932-8666 to learn more about your rights and receive professional advice regarding the best manner in which to proceed with your case.