Not all Utah couples who are going through a divorce will end up living in the same state. This means that jurisdictional issues can complicate child custody matters. Making sure that the right court has jurisdiction over the matter from the beginning is crucial. Otherwise, there could come a point in the process where the judge rules that the case is not being heard in the proper venue, which would mean having to start over in another court.
Not only will this end up costing both parents more time and money, but it could also require significant changes to any decisions that were already made. For these and other reasons, it would be beneficial to enlist the help of an attorney who is familiar with multi-state custody issues and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA provides family law courts with guidelines regarding the determination of jurisdiction along with other custody matters.
Jurisdictional factors such as how long each parent has resided in a state are considered. However, the guiding force behind any custody decisions remains the best interests of the child. Therefore, how long the child has been in one state or the other is a crucial factor.
In many cases, however, it is never as simple as where each parent lives. If you are attempting to deal with child custody issues across state lines, an attorney can review your case and advise you regarding jurisdiction and other important details. For example, visitation can be a challenge when one parent lives in Utah and the other is in another state. Often, the child needs both parents in his or her life, and your attorney can help ensure that happens.