Who Has Jurisdiction Over My Custody Case?
Custody battles become complex if the parents live in different states or if one parent recently moved to a new state. If this happens, the courts must determine which state court has jurisdiction over the case by establishing the child’s “home state.” In doing so, the court looks to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA).
The courts in the child’s home state have jurisdiction. Attorneys Molly Caesar and Michael Ian Bender of Caesar & Bender, LLP, can help you navigate these complicated proceedings.
How Is A Child’s Home State Determined?
A child’s home state is the state where the child has resided with a parent for six consecutive months (discounting any temporary absences) prior to the start of the custody proceeding. If a child is less than six months old, the home state is the state where the child has lived with a parent since birth.
Other Multi-jurisdictional Issues
Pursuant to the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, courts have jurisdiction over a child custody case if:
- Illinois is the home state of the child;
- Illinois was the home state of the child within six months before the proceeding began, and the child is absent from Illinois, but a parent or a person acting as a parent continues to live in Illinois;
- A court of another state does not have “home state” jurisdiction;
- A court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that Illinois is the more appropriate jurisdiction and the child and the child’s parents (or the child and at least one parent or person acting as a parent) have a significant connection with Illinois more than mere physical presence, and substantial evidence is available in Illinois concerning the child’s care, protection, training, and personal relationships;
- All courts having jurisdiction under paragraphs 1 through 4 above have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that Illinois is the more appropriate forum to determine custody of the child; or
- No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under paragraphs 1 through 5.
Was Your Child Wrongly Taken to Another State?
If your child has been wrongly taken from you to another state, Caesar & Bender, LLP has extensive experience in working to have him or her returned. Both Molly Caesar and Michael Ian Bender are passionate about doing what is best for children. Children should have a safe and healthy relationship with their parents. Relocating to another state needs to be addressed immediately, because it affects the amount of time that your child can spend with you. Children need healthy relationships with their parents.