Custody and multi-state issues

It is true that a divorce gets more complicated when there are custody issues involved. If a couple owns property in both California and Nevada and spends time in each state over the course of the year, which state handles the custody negotiations? It can depend on many factors. Here are some common questions relating to multi-state custody issues.

Which jurisdiction enforces custody decisions?

In a disputed interstate custody case, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is the framework used to decide which state should hear the custody case. One of the main functions of this act is to determine which locality is the child’s home state.

For custody purposes, what is the definition of a home state?

A home state is a place where the child has lived for at least six months before the start of the custody case. They must be under the care under the care of one of the parents or a guardian with physical custody. If no state meets this definition, states such as California have provisions in their law that help determine if the state has primary jurisdiction over the custody case.

Does an absence from the home state affect custody proceedings?

The fact that a child takes an extended visit to see relatives, for example, does not affect the determination of the child’s home state. The main point for decision is whether the absence is temporary.

So, the location of the child is key, right?

Usually, yes. The home state of the child may differ than that of one of the parents, but most of the time, the custody determinations are made in the child’s home state. It is often recommended to consult with a family law attorney familiar with multi-state custody actions due to their level of complexity.

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