Child custody orders made in a child’s jurisdictional home state are made in such a way that both parents are able to have visitation with the child as deemed by the family court.
Unfortunately, child custody lawyers are no stranger to cases where one parent, in an attempt to prevent visitation by the other parent, tries to take the child out of state.
In these instances in Texas and throughout most of the U.S., the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) can be enforced to ensure the child is returned and further custody issues are handled within the state of jurisdiction.
What Is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act?
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act or UCCJEA is a law that applies to custody cases that span across state lines.
It covers common issues that child custody attorneys see such as parents trying to prevent visitation of the other parent by taking their child across state lines, concerns about custody orders, and who has the authority to modify and enforce them.
The only U.S. state that has not adopted the UCCJEA is Massachusetts and the only U.S. territory that has not adopted it is Puerto Rico.
Which State Has Jurisdiction In Child Custody Cases?
Every child custody order pertains to a specific, assigned jurisdiction which ;can be the state:
- Where the child has currently been living with one or both parents.
- Where the child has lived most of his or her life.
- Where the most significant life connections reside.
in cases where parents are now in different states.
Usually, the home state is determined as the state where the child and parent or parents currently reside even if one parent lives out of state or leaves the state at the time that custody orders are made.
How Does Jurisdiction Affect Custody Orders?
Child custody lawyers understand that jurisdiction of the home state takes precedence when enforcing visitation and other parts of a custody order.
In most cases, changes to the custody order can only be made in the state with jurisdiction, barring extreme circumstances in which a state without jurisdiction can step in to ensure the well-being of the child.
Additionally according to UCCJEA, it is each state’s responsibility to enforce the custody order of the home state in the event that orders are challenged, a parent tries to remove a child from the home state, or in other circumstances.
Child Custody Lawyers Can Help!
Whether you need to make an adjustment to the custody order or your ex-spouse has taken your child out of Texas without your or the court’s permission, the UCCJEA exists to enforce the home state’s custody orders.
Talk to a child custody lawyer about how to proceed to file for a modification to your order or learn what to do if enforcement and the help of the family court in another state is required!