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Can multiple states make custody decisions?

You always wanted your child to see both parents. When you decided to have a little one, you didn't plan to get a divorce. Now that you have, you know that things will never be the same. You're living your own lives separately from one another, but you want your child to get as much time with his or her other parent as possible.

If you and your ex-spouse live in different states, it can be hard to manage child custody arrangements. How do you know what to do if your ex wants to make changes to your child custody agreement? What do you do about visitation?

The first thing you should know is which state has jurisdiction in your case. Usually, the state with jurisdiction is the child's home state. For example, if your child lives with you nine months of the year, then your state is likely your child's home state. You can also show a connection to the state by showing who your child has a significant relationship with in the state or that your child is in the state for his or her safety.

Your child's custody falls under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act makes sure that any state courts that do not meet the above requirements can't issue a child custody order. This prevents multiple states from working on the same case. It helps create consistency and helps reduce issues related to parental kidnapping.

If you are worried about your custody situation, your attorney can help you discuss different plans and possibilities. There is a solution to almost any custody challenge.

Source: FindLaw, "Interstate Custody Arrangements," accessed Aug. 08, 2017

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