What Are My Parental Rights If I Live Out of State?

What Are My Parental Rights If I Live Out of State?

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 9-Jan-2018

Most states have a statute known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act outlines standards for courts when making custody determinations and guidelines for when a court must defer to an existing determination made in another state. Massachusetts and Vermont are the only states that currently do not follow the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, state courts can make decisions about a child custody arrangement if:

  • The decision making state is the child’s home state
  • The child has substantial connections with people in the state
  • The child resides in the state for safety reasons
  • No state can meet one of the above tests

A parent will be denied custody if they wrongfully remove and/or retain a child in an attempt to make that state the child's home state. In cases where more than one state can meet any of the above tests, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act dictates that only one state can issue a child custody judgment. This means that if a state court makes a decision before another court in a different state does, the judgment of the first court will be binding.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act addresses problems associated with one parent kidnapping a child and trying to obtain a custody award without informing the court of the situation. More importantly, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act creates consistency for interstate child custody decrees.

Do you have more questions about the rights of parents who live out of state? Contact our Orlando divorce attorney to schedule your free consultation today.

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