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Parental Relocation & Child Custody Matters

If you are divorced with children, it can be difficult when you or your ex-spouse wants to move out-of-state with your children. If you are facing this situation, it is important confer with an interstate child custody lawyer in Rhode Island.

Both state and federal laws apply to child custody relocation cases. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is the most comprehensive law, which is also used in conjunction with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA).

The UCCJEA has jurisdictional requirements that must be met before a Rhode Island court can make a decision regarding custody. The criteria are:

  • Is the state the child’s “home state?” This is the state where your child is living with a parent for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the custody proceeding. Most children have a home state that governs custody or visitation issues.
  • If there is no home state, the governing court is the state with a “significant connection” to the child. Typically, this is the state where the evidence needed for the court to make its determination is located. For example, the state where the child has been attending school has a significant connection.
  • If there is not a home state or state with a significant connection, the state that is the “more appropriate jurisdiction” will govern. For example, if both parents have moved from the home state and there is not a significant connection to the new state, a court in a convenient location may be used.
  • If no state has jurisdiction, a party can request a court to govern the case. This rarely occurs and is highly scrutinized by the court. A common example for this situation is a child that has moved numerous times in the last six months.

If you are facing a parental relocation issue and you have questions about how to handle child custody, a skilled attorney in Rhode Island can help.

Move-away situations can be emotional and tough on everyone in the family. At Kirshenbaum Law Associates, we find effective solutions for modifying or enforcing a custody arrangement due to parental relocation.