All of us have heard the range of percentage of marriages that end in divorce. And with these divorces, inevitably, there are often times minor children involved. The parties go their separate ways, either amicably or not, with an understanding of what their responsibilities will be with regard to their children. This usually includes who has primary custody, what the visitation schedule will be, child support issues, who pays for daycare, etc. Those decisions are obviously all made at or near the final judgment of divorce. And things may go along swimmingly from there on out. But more and more it seems, one parent finds the need to relocate – perhaps for the necessity of employment or possibly for the comfort of another location – but when this happens, especially when that move takes a parent to another state, all the arrangements finalized at the time of the divorce concerning those minor children become much more complicated. And in some instances, one party desires to go back to court to try to modify their agreement to reflect the change.
Once a court has ruled on a minor’s support, custody, etc., that court typically maintains jurisdiction over that minor. In cases where the custodial parent goes to another state, its easy to imagine the tension that would be created. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a set of law designed to address custody issues that may arise in such situation. Example: John and Jane marry in Mississippi, have children and then divorce in Mississippi. A Mississippi judge orders the terms of their divorce and custody arrangements. Jane then moves to Arkansas with the children and files a Petition in a court there in order to modify the terms of her and John’s custody, visitation and support. In this situation, the ability of Jane to bring such an action and the likelihood of her success would be governed by the provisions of the UCCJEA.
The attorneys at Coxwell and Associates understand the UCCJEA and can help navigate clients through what is typically an emotional and inflammatory issue. If you or a friend are facing such a situation, feel free to call Coxwell and Associates for a free initial consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.