When a couple gets a divorce, each spouse typically decides to go their separate ways. Before advances in transportation technology effectively shrank the world, divorced spouses couldn’t easily leave the jurisdiction where they obtained their divorce. However, this changed as faster, and efficient transportation became the norm for people.

Unfortunately, a court’s power to enforce its orders does not extend beyond the geographical boundaries of the state. As a result, a situation whereby a party left the state’s jurisdiction to avoid their divorce obligations became and ever-increasing the problem. In response, the states ratified the provisions of several interstate agreements, including the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Family Interstate Support Act (UFISA).

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

The UCCJEA establishes a procedure under which the parties to a child custody arrangement can determine the state of proper jurisdiction for making an initial custody determination.

Determining the state of property jurisdiction can be accomplished by evaluating the case under the following priority:

  • The child’s “home state”
  • The jurisdiction where the child and their parent has a “significant connection” with the state
  • Any state that has an appropriate connection with the child

Under the terms of the UCCJEA, a state that made an initial custody determination has exclusion, continuing jurisdiction for all child custody matters.

However, continuing jurisdiction will cease under the following circumstances:

  • The child and their parent does not have a significant connection with the state and there is no evidence regarding their custody determination in the state; or
  • A court finds that the child and both parents no longer reside in the state

The Uniform Family Interstate Support Act

The UFISA allowed state courts to enforce the support orders of an out-of-state child support order against a resident of the state who was divorced in another state. Enforcement of child support orders under this uniform act can be accomplished through the registration of the out-of-state support order or registering an order to garnish the obligor spouse’s wages. This provisions of the UFISA allows a state court to treat an out-of-state order as if it had been issued within the state’s jurisdiction.

Moshtael Family Law Can Help You

If you are caught up in a family law case – such as a divorce or child custody case – you should seek the professional legal counsel of an experienced attorney for quality assistance and representation. At Moshtael Family Law we take pride in providing our clients with compassionate legal services that focuses our attention on the unique aspects of your case.

Call us at (714) 909-2561 or contact us online today to arrange a free case evaluation regarding your legal rights and options.

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