Historically, when a parent relocated to another state, it was not always clear which state had jurisdiction over custody issues. In 1997, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws drafted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in an effort to establish a law that was essentially the same in every state with regard to such jurisdiction.
Under Arizona’s version of the UCCJEA, an Arizona court will not act on a custody order in cases where another state has jurisdiction over the matter until it assumes jurisdiction usually after a hearing on the matter. A state has jurisdiction if it is the child’s “home state,” meaning that the child lived there for the six months prior to the litigation.
Jurisdiction can be further supported if one of the parents still lives in the child’s home state. If both parents have moved away from the child’s home state, that state’s court can be declared “an inconvenient forum,” opening the door for jurisdiction to be established in another state.
At Lasiter & Jackson, we have represented clients in a broad range of UCCJEA matters. Our attorneys have a complete understanding of the law, and we have the experience to protect your interests. If you are the parent who has relocated and you have lived in Arizona for at least six months, we can help you through the process of establishing a custody order here.
If you are the non-custodial parent and your former spouse has relocated your child to another state, we can help you with the enforcement of the custody order if Arizona is the child’s home state. No matter which side of the case you are on, we are committed to seeing that your interests and the interests of your child are fully protected.
If you have questions about interstate custody matters, please contact our office to learn more about your legal rights under the UCCJEA.