CHILD CUSTODY INTERSTATE JURISDICTION ISSUES
MARYLAND FAMILY LAW LAWYER
Family law is very complex, especially when it pertains to child custody.
Although the Uniform Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was designed to resolve any complexities between states, if you find yourself in the middle of an interstate child custody dispute, contact an experienced Maryland family law attorney who can help you.
If the parents live in different states or nations, the first issue that must be resolved is whether the court has proper jurisdiction over the person to handle the child custody or support dispute. The UCCJEA is the law that spells out the rules for whether a state’s courts can legally decide a child custody or placement case for any given child. It also explains how custody or visitation orders issued by a court in one state can be enforced by the courts of another state. “Jurisdiction” is the power or right of a court to decide a case and to make orders that can legally be enforced against a particular person or people.
A state court may exercise authority over a case and the parties to that case only to the extent allowed by the Constitution or laws of the state where the court is located.
There are two main types of judicial jurisdiction: personal jurisdiction and subject-matter jurisdiction.
- Personal jurisdiction is the power to make orders that will be binding on a specific person, regardless of whether that person is located.
- Subject-matter jurisdiction is the power or right to decide the particular legal question or subject involved in a case.
The power of a court to decide the custody or placement of a child and to issue orders that must be obeyed by the child’s parents is a branch of subject-matter jurisdiction, known as “Custody Jurisdiction”. To determine which state has proper jurisdiction to make an “initial determination” of child custody, the UCCJEA proceeds in an order of priority.
The first is the “home state” of the child, or was the child’s home state within six months immediately before the commencement of the child custody proceedings. If no state has jurisdiction under the first priority, then the jurisdiction is proper where the child and at least one parent have a significant connection with the state. If no state has jurisdiction under the first or second, jurisdiction is proper in any state having an appropriate connection with the child.
Contact a Maryland family law lawyer for more information.
CONTACT MARYLAND FAMILY LAW LAWYER FOR HELP
The Burton Law Firm understands how divorce can affect you and your family’s life indefinitely. Having years of experience handling all types of divorce cases throughout the state of Maryland, you can trust us to handle your case with care. Give us a call at (301) 420-5540 to speak to a divorce lawyer in Maryland.
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Contact our office as soon as possible so our team of Family Law attorneys can properly evaluate your case and protect your rights.