How the UCCJEA affects child custody matters

How the UCCJEA affects child custody matters

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Family law matters can get very complex and emotional. Many child custody disputes in the St. Louis area are hotly contested. Parents oftentimes try to bring out the worst in each other so that they can achieve the outcome they want, which they usually believe is best for their child, too. When the dust settles, either after negotiations or litigation, many of these parents feel that the matter is settled. While this may be true for some, for others, it is just a starting point on a long road of issues pertaining to visitation and child support.

Some child custody and visitation disputes end up with child custody modifications, but some parents find themselves in the terrifying position of not being able to seek immediate modification because their child has been taken out of state by the child’s other parent. When this act is conducted with the intent of interfering with a child custody order, then it is usually considered abduction.

Many people who find themselves in this situation wind up asking whether they can enforce their child custody order in the other state. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, also known as the UCCJEA, a court of another state cannot issue an order modifying another state’s custody order unless certain conditions are met.

For example, if none of the parties have a connection to the state that issued the initial order, then the new state may be able to modify the initial state’s order. Additionally, the UCCJEA has multiple enforcement provisions that allow states to act on out of state orders to protect children, which may even mean the calling for the utilization of law enforcement to physically remove a child from his or her parent to return that child to his or her other parent.

Interstate custody and visitation issues can be quite complicated. Taking improper action when a child has been abducted across state lines can lead to a delay in a child’s return or a failed return. There is simply too much at stake to risk moving forward without a full understanding of the law and how to use it to one’s advantage. This is why Midwesterners who are facing this type of issue should consider seeking legal guidance.

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