Child Custody Issues When 1 Parent Lives Off Long Island
The reality of increased mobility finds many divorced families spread across multiple states, so it is not uncommon to have one parent living on Long Island, while another lives outside New York. Whether the parents are within the tristate area, or across the country, your valid Child Custody Order can be enforced.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act sets out standards for courts to utilize in making custody determinations and for when a court must defer to an existing determination originating in another state. Almost every state and the District of Columbia have enacted the Act, ensuring that your Child Custody Order will be enforced.
Generally, a state can make a decision about custody if:
- the state making the decision is the child’s home state;
- the child has significant connections with people in the state;
- the child is in the state for safety reasons; or
- no state can meet one of the three previous tests.
In order to have a binding Child Custody Order, the state issuing the order must meet one of the above tests. If more than one state meets a test, the first state to issue an order will be binding.
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Under the United States Constitution, the Full Faith and Credit Clause requires courts to enforce valid judgments, or orders, issued from courts of different states. Previously, courts would ignore another state’s judgment or order, opting instead to issue a new judgment or order from its own court. This led to a large amount of confusion, as well as inconsistent Child Custody Orders. Now, states are required to recognize valid judgments and orders issued in other states and enforce it as if it were its own.
Registering Your Child Custody Order
In order for your out of state Child Custody Order to be recognized and enforced, it must first be registered. To register an out of state Child Custody Order, you must file the following with the appropriate court:
- a letter or other document requesting registration;
- two copies, one of which must be certified, of the Child Custody Order sought to be registered; and
- the name and address of the person seeking registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded custody or visitation in the child custody determination sought to be registered.
Once registered, a court may grant any relief normally available under the law when a parent is seeking enforcement.
It’s important to understand that you do not need to wait until you are seeking an enforcement to register your out of state Child Custody Order. In fact, once you move to another state, you should immediately register your Child Custody Order.
Have More Questions About Interstate Child Custody?
If you are currently involved in a custody dispute with a parent from another state, it’s important to have an experienced Long Island Family Law Attorney by your side to protect your rights and those of your child. The divorce and family law firm of Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. can help you navigate the confusing and overwhelming court system in New York. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Family Law attorneys.
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