In a divorce, few issues are as emotionally charged as those that deal with children and the handling of visitation and custody rights. It is a difficult situation in all cases, but even more so when dealing with two parents who will ultimately end up with a great distance between them.
Interstate custody disputes are governed in almost every state by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This sets the standards that courts must use to make custody determinations that originated in another state. It also creates a consistency from state to state so that there is uniformity in applying laws related the child custody decrees.
Under the Act, a state court can make a decision regarding the custody of a child under the following circumstances:
The state court making the decision is located in the child’s home state. To be considered a child’s home state, her or she must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months prior to any legal action taking place. This also applies if the child was living in the state but is not currently living there because a parent removed them from the state.
The child has significant connections in their home state. These connections can include relatives, teachers and schools, doctors, friends and other people who interact on a regular basis with the child regarding their care and upbringing.
The child has been removed to another state for safety reasons. If there is a concern that abuse, neglect or abandonment are taking place, the child can be placed where the highest degree of protection for their well-being exists.
There is also what is known as a Full Faith and Credit Clause that requires judges to enforce valid child custody judgments and decrees, even if they come from different states. This avoids confusion and the possibility that several judges in different states could issue orders that would contradict each other for the same child.
Faletti Law Office focuses on family law, tax law, bankruptcy and estate planning for clients in Bloomfield and the surrounding Colorado communities of Arvada, Westminster, Northglenn, Commerce City, Erie, Brighton, Lafayette, Longmont, Firestone, Thornton, Adams County, Jefferson County and beyond.