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Child Custody Considerations When Parents Live in Different States

 Posted on March 05, 2021 in Child Custody

Glen Ellyn family law attorney child custody

In most cases, children’s parents who are not married try to live near each other to remain in their child’s life and maintain a good relationship. Some families, however, do not have both parents living in the same state. Maybe one parent had to relocate for their job or perhaps the parent moved out of state before realizing that they were having a child at all. Regardless of the reason behind the state spread, both parents continue to have rights and responsibilities over their child. Parents who are unmarried should have a parenting agreement created to ensure that these rights and responsibilities are outlined and have legal backing by a court of law. In cases like these, which state takes on the role of creating and enforcing child custody arrangements and parenting plans?

Interstate Child Custody

Making child custody agreements between states is known as interstate child custody. Unlike same-state parents, those living in two separate areas have additional hoops to jump through. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was created in 1997 to address this discrepancy first hand. This act is accepted nationwide and sets forth parameters regarding interstate custody. According to the UCCJEA, the primary determining factor when it comes to deciding which state has jurisdiction over the issue is where the child resides. 

In order to consider a state a child’s “home state,” the child must have resided there for at least six months. Any parent seeking custody arrangements must have also lived in the state in which the custody action is being filed for six months. But, what if you recently moved and are in need of child custody arrangements? If you and your child have not resided in one state for at least six months, the court will determine whether or not the child and parent have a strong connection to a particular state—such as where your child lived before relocating—to determine where the jurisdiction should lie.

There are special circumstances in which the child’s home state declines to take on the child custody case. For instance, if the parent proves that their home state is an “inconvenient forum” for the case to take place, they may request to have the case handled in another state. A location can be considered “inconvenient” based on the location of the parents and each individual’s financial situation. If the child is in danger, a state other than the child’s home state can provide a temporary custody order to keep the child safe. This may occur in cases where the child is suffering from abuse. 

Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer

Have you recently relocated to Illinois and need help securing child custody rights? At Hensley Sendek Law, LLC, we have experience handling complex custody cases, including state-to-state and international custody cases and child removal. Our legal team is dedicated to helping you secure your rights as a parent, even if your co-parent lives elsewhere. Contact our skilled Warrenville family law attorney at 630-358-9029 to discuss your situation during your free consultation.


Source: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2497&ChapterID=59 

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