Which State Has Jurisdiction in Custody Case for Parents Living in Different States?

During a divorce, one of the most crucial things to deal with is custody allocation. However, there are also other circumstances under which parents need to consider custody arrangements. It is likely that both of the parents would want to remain with the kids. That becomes more complicated when one parent is moving. If the two were to live in the same state, it would be easier to co-parent. However, distance presents a new challenge. In such a case, it is essential to come up with an arrangement as to who will have the kids. Deciding on this is usually quite tricky unless the parents themselves decide on what is best. The important thing when trying to figure out where the children will live is the children’s interest. If both parents cannot decide on what is most suitable, it is best that they consult a child custody attorney. He can weigh the benefits of either decision and help the couple decide on the best option. In cases when they are unable to agree, allowing a court to decide is a better option.

Which Court Will Handle the Custody Matter? What Part Does a Child Custody Lawyer in Charlotte Play?

Considering that the parents live in different states, it is difficult to figure out which state should handle the case. It is not possible to have the matter handled in two different courts at the same time. The decision is made depending on who has jurisdiction. This is dictated by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Who has authority depends on:

  • Where the child was living for the last six months.
  • Where the child is currently living.
  • If there are any court orders on the case.

When there is no existing court order, the state with jurisdiction is the child’s residence for the past six months. That is typically known as the child’s home state. If the baby is less than six months old, the home state is where he was born and living. It is possible that the child has not lived in any one place for six months or more. If so, the courts decide who is best suited to hear the case. They consider who first filed the custody case.

If the court where the parent filed the case accepts jurisdiction, then the other court will drop the case. The court proceedings then begin. In this case, a Charlotte child custody lawyer is essential for you to have a chance of winning.

Child Custody Attorney in Charlotte, NC on Physical and Legal Custody

Legally, there are two types of custody that are determined by the court, which is legal and physical. When parents are living in different states, they can share both types depending on the agreement reached.

Physical custody means that the child will physically live with the assigned parent most of the time. The other parent may still have rights to live with the child. It will only be for a fraction of the time. For example, the child can live with one parent in a different state throughout the school year. However, they may go to the other parent during the summer.

Legal custody means that a parent has the right to make crucial decisions about the child’s life. These decisions include such things as school, medical and general welfare. It is easy to share this type of custody since both parents can make decisions concerning their children. It is more difficult for the parent living away from the child to participate in every stage. However, it can still work.

Judges consider where the child is living and going to school when deciding on whom to grant physical custody. They do not like changing the child’s life in a way that may lead to total disruption. The parent living in the state that the child has been living in will most likely get physical custody. That can, however, change if their best interest will be served by move with the other parent. Your Charlotte child custody lawyer will help you argue your case and ensure that you gain custody of your child. He does this by proving that the child’s best interest is in living with you.

Once the court decides on the jurisdiction, it is essential to have a skilled custody law attorney with you. Whether or not the case is in your state, you have an excellent opportunity to gain physical custody. Consult us at Remington & Dixon PLLC to find out how we can help you win the court’s favor.


Are consultations free?

While we offer a free consultation on traffic matters, criminal matters, and most professional license defense cases, we charge a fee for family law consultations to personalize our consultations to your specific needs. To learn about our fee structure, please get in touch.

Where can I get legal advice?

We recommend meeting with an attorney. While there is free legal help available for North Carolina residents from pro bono resources for civil matters, and public defenders for criminal cases, the best way to access tailored advice is to hire a lawyer.

Can I hire you if I’m in another state?

This is done on a case by case basis if you are involved in a family law, criminal, or professional disciplinary matter that involves another jurisdiction.



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