What happens when mom and dad live in separate states?

Child custody disputes are often a companion to divorce. Although a divorce is a stressful and tiring situation, child custody often can be even more overwhelming.

When parents live in different states and have disputes regarding custody, visitation of another matter, it may be difficult to resolve. Which state has jurisdiction?

When custody cases are an issue, the jurisdiction depends upon:

  • Are there existing court orders?
  • Where does the child presently live?

If there are no existing court orders, the court in the state where the child and caregiver have lived for at least six months is the state that should resolve the case. If the child is less than six months old, the state where the child was born and has lived since birth has jurisdiction.

In addition, California has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act. This act was created in order to prevent a parent from leaving the state and filing a custody action.

The bottom line – there are many considerations for the courts when deciding custody and relocation cases. If you think that a change in custody would be best for your child, or you have a custody order in place and are considering moving, then you should contact the Orange County family law offices of Amy M. Montes to discuss your best course of action.