Arizona Interstate Custody Jurisdiction Issues
Child support, child custody (legal decision making), and parenting time are matters that are often wrought with tension. Moreover, anytime there is a shared custody situation where one of the parents lives out-of-state, the potential for conflict dramatically increases.
Interstate Legal Decision-Making, Parenting Time, Child Support & Spousal Maintenance
In cases where the parents reside in different states a party to a child custody, parenting time, child support and/or spousal maintenance case cannot necessarily file their first proceeding or a modification proceeding in any state they desire. There are certain “jurisdiction issues” that may apply. Thus, a party has to make sure that the state they desire to file has jurisdiction over the other person and over the matter at issue. There are two separate types of jurisdiction – i.e. personal jurisdiction (over the person) and subject matter jurisdiction (over the issue).
We welcome inquiries from attorneys in other states seeking representation for their clients in the Arizona courts, including clients involved in interstate disputes regarding divorce, child custody or child support.
There are two main pieces of legislation that govern out-of-state custody and support matters: the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Each state has an identical or substantial identical set of statutes that confirm to these federal acts. The overall purpose is to make sure orders are handled uniformly and that different orders regarding the same people or matters are not entered in different states. To better understand the difference between the two statutes, see below:
- The UIFSA allows all states to enforce child support orders. Because many fathers and mothers live in different states, the UIFSA was enacted to ensure standardized protocol is used to enforce orders and to collect child support payments. It also limits the jurisdiction of courts for establishing and modifying child support orders so that inconsistent orders are not entered by different states.
- The UCCJEA institutes uniform procedures to register and to enforce child custody orders across state lines. It limits jurisdiction for child custody determination to a single state while extending enforcement provisions to all states. The original court maintains exclusive jurisdiction over custody matters until the parents, and children no longer live in the state where the original order was given. If an emergency arises where a child is in danger, a non-jurisdiction state may enter a temporary emergency order for immediate protection. For parents considering relocation from Arizona for a new job, relationship or another opportunity, it is important to work with an experienced Phoenix child relocation attorney.
At Bishop Law Offices, P.C., our team of interstate jurisdiction issues attorneys in Phoenix works with parents to achieve amicable parenting and support agreements through negotiation or mediation. If parents are unable to reach a mutually acceptable understanding, we stand ready to fight for our clients’ rights and interests in court. With offices in Phoenix and in Tempe, we offer convenient and accessible family law services in Arizona. Contact Bishop Law Offices, P.C. to schedule a consultation with any of our experienced child custody and interstate jurisdiction attorneys in Phoenix or Tempe Arizona.