There are two main areas of interstate child custody disputes where the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act(UCCJEA) is designed to provide guidance and clarity to family courts. The first involves determining which state has authority (jurisdiction) to issue child custody orders, whether by way of an initial order or by way of a modification. The second, but no less important, area concerns the recognition or enforcement of those custody orders in another state.
Any dispute that involves parental rights and the possible removal of child(ren) from one state to another has the potential to generate strong emotions from all sides. In my practice, I only represent clients and serve as co-counsel to family law attorneys in matters involving interstate child custody disputes. For enforcement cases, I work quickly to help my clients realize their legal goals, whether they are seeking to enforce another state’s custody orders or block the other parent’s attempt to enforce another state’s child custody orders.
How Do Interstate Child Custody Enforcement Cases Typically Unfold?
The exact unfolding of any particular case will depend on the unique circumstances of that case. Many cases, however, involve parents who live together with their child in just one state, at least until the time that a divorce or paternity case has been filed. That original state then issues child custody orders. At some point (typically after original orders have been issued), one of the parents moves with the child to another state and then fails in some way to obey the custody or visitation orders spelled out in the original court orders. Because the child and the disobedient parent are located in a different state from the one that issued the original orders, the parent left behind must then seek to have the child custody orders recognized and enforced by the state to which the child has been relocated.
Get answers to other frequently asked questions regarding enforcement cases.
Among the more important features of the UCCJEA is that it provides for expedited resolution of enforcement petitions. In cases where there is serious risk that a child may be abducted or subject to physical harm, the UCCJEA permits courts to order the child to be picked up by law enforcement and brought to a final enforcement hearing on the very next day. Even in cases that do not involve the threat of abduction or imminent harm to a child, enforcement petitions are often resolved in just two or three days.
Contact The Law Offices of David A. Blumberg
For enforcement cases, I represent parents directly in addition to serving as co-counsel for family lawyers across the United States. To arrange a consultation, send me an email or call toll free 877-9-UCCJEA or 414-815-0447 in Wisconsin.