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Divorce Advice for Men | Fathers' Rights Divorce | Child Custody

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UCCJEABy Matt Allen


Child custody cases frequently involve multiple states due to a party moving post-divorce or even during the divorce process.

A common acronym is mentioned during any dispute involving child custody cases across state lines: UCCJEA.

UCCJEA stands for Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It’s a set of uniform laws states have enacted that outlines the process of avoiding jurisdictional competition by the courts in matters of child custody and to promote cooperation with all the states and help enforce the court decrees of other states, according to the attorneys at the domestic litigation firm Cordell & Cordell.

Basically, the court that originally determined child custody would retain exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over any and all issues arising out the custody of the child.

Jennifer Paine, a Cordell & Cordell Michigan attorney, said the UCCJEA vests continuing, exclusive jurisdiction for child custody cases in the child’s "home state," i.e. where the child has lived for six consecutive months prior to commencing the case (or the child’s entire life).

There are cases where the original state may no longer exercise jurisdiction though as part of the "home state" determination under the UCCJEA, said Cordell & Cordell attorney William Halaz.

One of the reasons would be if none of the parties still live in the original state. The original state would also lose jurisdiction if the court determines that neither the child, the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with the original state, and that substantial evidence is no longer available in the original state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships.

Fathers also wonder about paying child support if a child has been emancipated in one state and then moves to another state with a higher age of majority.

But the UCCJEA holds that if the child has already been emancipated in the original state in a court order, the new state may not "un-emancipate" the child, according to Halaz.

If the UCCJEA applies in your case, then the motioning parent may file an action in the children’s current state to request that the prior state’s court relinquish its control to the new state’s court, according to Paine.

Comments (16)Add Comment
Child custody
written by Steven Fitzpatrick, August 24, 2011
My wife and I had a son here in NY state 18 months ago. We are going through some rough times and will probably not continue to stay together. I feel that if this happens, she is going to try to take our son and move to florida to live with her mother. Please tell me if she will legally get away with taking him from me and to another state. Thank you.
Prevent Wife From Moving
written by DadsDivorce admin, August 25, 2011
Almost every state is different in how it approaches parents who relocate with or without the children to a different state during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage. Generally speaking, unless there is an order from the Court or something else that would prevent relocation, then a party is free to move or relocate to where they want to.

I usually advise my client that if they are fearful their spouse will move with the children or take them to another state without returning them, then they need to seek protection from the Court to attempt to prevent this from happening. Relocation is an issue that I believe is easier to deal with before it happens and not after it happens.

You should seek the counsel of an attorney who is licensed in your state to get specific advice as to what your rights are and to protect your rights in this case.

However, if there is an existing cause of action, judgment, or decree of record pertaining to the children’s residence or time-sharing and a parent removes the child without the written consent of the other parent or order of the court, then the other parent can file a motion for contempt and for the immediate return of the children to the jurisdiction to prevent a permanent relocation.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell:

Jason Bowman is an attorney in the Louisville, Kentucky office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. He is licensed in the states of Kentucky and Texas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Louisville, and received his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.
Sharing Custody Across State Lines
written by JCrew, October 12, 2011
I have two children under the age of three. During my deployment in 2010, the mother of my children moved from Virginia to Florida without my consent. Now, a year later, she is refusing to allow me visitation. Do I petition the Virginia Courts or Florida Courts for joint custody and what is the likely-hood joint custody will be granted due to us living across state lines?
State Line Issues
written by DadsDivorce admin, October 13, 2011
Generally speaking, children become the jurisdiction of the state in which they reside given that they have met the residency requirements for that particular state. Depending upon how your agreement was written out and the facts of your specific case, you may have the ability to request the original state, Florida, take the jurisdiction by requesting the Virginia courts to relinquish their control over the case.

It may beneficial for you to consult first with an attorney in Florida to see what grounds you may have, and then consult with an attorney in Virginia to get their guidance.
my son is 3 with cancer.
written by john shelton, November 07, 2011
I am John C. Shelton J.r , a 22 year old father of a beautiful 3 year old little boy whom was diognosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in may of 2011 he was born august 17th 2008. he weighd 8 pounds 6 ounces. My ex-fiance and i have been split up for almost 2 years and she still fights with me constantly. The only reason she has full custody of our son (preston dakota redman) is because on august 17th 2008 i was informed i was not able to put my name on the birth cirtificate given prior circumstances with a husband she had previously but still legally binded too. She was married at 16 and never got the divorce.But to current times im living in daphne alabama and still am i yet to hear from the dna test place to make the first step towards getting any rights over my son. she hasnt spoken a word to me in over a month and when she does she speaks down to me and argues and fights. im not here to fight a war with her im here cause i care i am a young father who isnt going to leave there son to be a bastard. im a loving nurturing inspiring musician with a calm safe lifestyle and a heart of gold. im not perfect but who is. all i wasnt is to be poppa again. if you can help me please call me at 251 391 6479 or add me at

thank you,
john crawford shelton j.r
what is the best route to take? and whats the best direction to start this journey?
written by Nick Schwartz, February 19, 2013
Hi, Im Nick from I-Falls MN, My 5 year old daughter currently lives in Baycity TX and I live in Minnesota. I currently have no rights established for my daughter. A year ago i was in the process of starting to establish them when my daughter also lived in minnesota, but behind my back my baby's mom decided to move to texas and inform me the day before. well to make a long story short without all the drama, i want to try get atleast some % custody of my daughter. now with me living in a diffrent state, what is the best way to start this?
written by susy, August 28, 2013
My brother and his girlfriend had a baby that is 2.5 yrs old now. The child was born in Indiana and my brother lives in Ohio. My brother does not have any parental right over the child and is not able to see him as much as he would like to. He wants to obtain his parental rights because he has many problems with his son's mother. What is the first step that he should take to get parental rights that will allow him to see his son? Also my brother's name does not appear on his son's birth certificate
worried other half
written by desiray, November 22, 2013
My boy friends 4children have temp custody with there aunt in law there mom was recently incarcerated and have long term time facing her he had a court date in fl and they advised him to get a aprtment and they will give him a background check to see if heds able to have his children live w him in wi .we spoke to Dcf and child welfare here in wi and fl but they are very vague w what he needs to do but he has a aprt and a good paying job also I will b also wanting to help but the workers at dcf told him if I live there if I have any kind of criminal record they will completely deny him his custody and placement of his children. I really need advice so we can do the right thing.
Thank u
My ex will not let my kids visit
written by Royce Amsden, March 14, 2014
I have moved to Florida and my kids live with their mother in Missouri. She will not let the kids come visit me for many ridiculous reasons all because she and I do not get long. How can I enforce my custody? She has sole physical and we have joint legal (not that that matters at all to her).
going across state lines.
written by leah, July 03, 2014
Can my husband take my son across state lines from north carolina if we have no custody agreement?
written by Rick , July 07, 2014
I am a divorced father with sole custody of my two daughters gained at the request of my ex wife. I would like to relocate to Florida and retain the same custody agreement. Will there be any problems in doing so? My ex hasn't seen the children in more than two years or called to check on them in more than a year.
Please respond to:
I want my daughters
written by David Lancaster, July 14, 2014
My daughters live in Ga. Post divorce I moved to NC and remarried and now have 2 boys. My ex says I can only get my daughter 2 weeks in the summer, holidays every other year because per the decree I can get them every other weekend. And I never get to file them on my taxes. What can I do to even this playing field
I want My Daughters
written by David Lancaster, July 14, 2014
My daughters live in Ga. Post divorce I moved to NC and remarried and now have 2 boys. My ex says I can only get my daughter 2 weeks in the summer, holidays every other year because per the decree I can get them every other weekend. And I never get to file them on my taxes. What can I do to even this playing field?
Please respond to:
Unsure how to begin
written by Felicia, August 29, 2014
I live in Ohio with my 20 month old son, my 2.5 month old daughter, and their father. We are unmarried. There are no current custody orders. I am planning to leave him and I will need to stay with my mother in California. I plan to bring the children with me. How should I proceed? If I leave him and take the children with me, will I be charged with kidnapping? If I do move to california and bring my children, should I file custody paperwork in california or ohio? My hope is that he would follow us to california and work out a visitation schedule with me.
How best to proceed?
written by Epicurean Flame, September 18, 2014
I am the father of a soon to be 5 year old who lives in Michigan. I live in Pennsylvania. My daughter's mother makes absolutely no effort to keep me in the life of my daughter. She refuses to send pictures (after saying that she will), makes no effort to keep my daughter in contact with me (phone, skype, etc), nor will even allow the idea of bringing my daughter to see me in PA. Also, I pay my child support bi-weekly, and have no arrears.

Basically it has come down to the fact of if I'm not the one putting in all the effort, I get nothing (except a substantial deduction from my paychecks.)

I would like to know what kind of action I can take to make this arrangement more fair between her and I so that I don't have to put in *ALL* the effort, time and money required to be part of my daughter's life.

Please respond to:
state lines
written by cody wilson, October 25, 2014
In Utah is it legal to cross state lines while going through a divorce and custody battle

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