Interstate custody disputes

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:35 pm
Interstate child custody disputes are generally settled under the terms of the Uniform Interstate Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. This is a set of rules which helps courts decide whether a child has had enough contact with a particular state to allow that state's laws to be applied in a specific custody dispute. The act takes into consideration whether one parent has deliberately removed a child from one state to another in order to receive a more favorable judgment; whether or not a custody decision has already been made in another state; and whether there has been a change in the circumstances of the child or the parents that would warrant a revision of a custody decision. One of the most important considerations in the Uniform Interstate Child Custody Jurisdiction Act is the length of time the child has been resident in a particular state. Generally, a court will only consider an interstate custody hearing if the child has been a resident of that state for a period of six months. The six-month principle does not usually apply if it can be shown that the child was kidnapped by one parent and taken to the state in question without the permission or approval of the other custodial parent. If two parents file for custody of a child in two different states, the judges in each state can confer with one another to decide which state will relinquish control in that specific case.
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