A custodial Florida parent might worry about potential legal action related to custody if their former spouse relocates to a different state. Although there was once a serious challenge related to interstate custody situations because of this type of scenario, today's parents are protected to a large degree by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The act provides guidelines for states potentially needing to hear interstate custody cases.
If child custody action is brought in the child's home state, the state may proceed in hearing and deciding the case. A six-month period is required to establish residency prior to the initiation of such action. A parent cannot simply remove the child from one state for the purpose of filing for custody in another. However, an exception might be made if the child is removed from their home state to address physical or other dangers from the other parent. A state might also hear a custody case if the child has major connections with family, friends, or other important parties in that state.
If there are no states eligible to hear a custody case based on these options, then the state in which action is brought may be able to proceed in hearing the case. There are additional protections in cases of a parent wrongfully taking a child out of state. If two states could potentially oversee such a case legally, the first decision to be issued is considered binding.
A child custody law firm could be helpful in representing a parent whose ex-spouse is attempting to circumvent the law by seeking custody through another state's court system. Such legal assistance could also be important for a parent who suspects that a domestic or international abduction of a child has occurred or might occur in the future.