Interstate and International Child Custody and Support
Few things can make a parent feel more powerless than having a child relocated to a different state or country. The laws of other states and nations differ from Texas law, and can have an impact on your custody or support arrangement.
Fortunately, Texas and the other 49 states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). Both UCCJEA and UIFSA provide guidelines for jurisdiction for child custody and enforcement actions, which will determine which state has jurisdiction over the lawsuit and issues concerning your child. Likewise, UIFSA provides guidelines for jurisdiction and enforcement of child support orders. Understanding which state has jurisdiction over your case will be critical in prosecuting or defending your child custody or child support case.
Because different states view custody and support differently, and because of the difficulty in litigating a child custody or support case in a state other than your own, it is important that you hire attorneys who understand UCCJEA and UIFSA and are able to convince a court in your home state to retain jurisdiction over your child custody or support case.
When child custody or support issues go international, things get more complicated. Both UCCEJA and UIFSA state that foreign nations will be treated as states for the purposes of determining jurisdictional matters. However, while the state of Texas may, under UCCJEA or UIFSA, believe that it has jurisdiction over your child custody or support case, a court of a foreign nation may disagree. This can lead to a highly complex situation that requires a law firm with considerable expertise in this specific area.
*This article is not a substitute for the advice of a licensed BurnettTurner attorney.
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