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Can an out-of-state court amend my custody arrangement?

When two parents choose to raise a child separately, a number of conflicts may arise over time. One of the most common issues that parents face as their lives diverge is that one parent may wish to move to another state.

Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, a state court may amend the custody order of another court in another state under certain conditions. It is useful to note that not every state participates in the act, so check to make sure that it applies in your case.

If, for instance, the child resides for at least six months in the state where the court resides, a court may amend a custody order on the grounds that it is now the child's home state. A court may also choose to amend the custody order even if the child has not lived for six months in that state, provided that the child either has some family or other meaningful relationships in the state, or is fleeing physical danger in another state.

In general, courts prefer for both parents to approve of any significant relocation of the child, especially when it is a relocation that crosses state borders. Each state maintains its own laws that govern many aspects of family law, so it is important to do proper research and understand the differences between two state's applicable laws as you prepare to negotiate such a custody dispute.

If you worry that your child's other parent may attempt to relocate the child without your consent, you may have some legal options. Don't hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney to determine how to keep your parental rights protected while working with your child's other parent to create the best life you can for the child you love.

Source: FindLaw, "Interstate Custody Arrangements," accessed Dec. 08, 2017

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