Custody disputes for Maryland parents can be complicated matters. Both parents love their children and want to be an important part of their lives, which is harder to do when they are no longer married and living together under one roof. When a couple separates or gets a divorce, one parent may move elsewhere to find a new job, live with a family member or pursue a new romantic relationship. This can affect the dynamics of custody and visitation, especially if they move far away. Interstate custody cases can add another wrinkle to an already stressful the situation.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a set of guidelines that is followed by courts in every state and the District of Columbia, except for Massachusetts. These guidelines make the navigation of interstate custody waters more uniform, since every state has its own set of custody laws and guidelines to follow. It is important to have a Maryland custody lawyer with the UCCJEA in custody cases involving one parent living in Maryland and the other living elsewhere. This enables parents to understand and follow the guidelines, especially when it comes to determining court jurisdiction and child custody order enforcement. It is also used in cases of parental kidnapping.
Court jurisdiction plays a very important role in custody and visitation for parents who live in different states. UCCJEA helps to determine which court has the right to hear the case and make rulings which must be obeyed. As a result, there are no longer dueling custody hearings in two different states. One of the parents has to travel to hearings and trials outside of their state of residence, as well as find a lawyer who can represent them in the appropriate court of law. It also means that parents who abduct their own children will no longer be able to run to another state for a custody ruling that they like better than the existing one.
The UCCJEA is used in relation to cases of divorce, separation, child and spouse abuse, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights and other types of family law cases.
The Rockville lawyers, Hecht and Associates, are familiar with the UCCJEA guidelines and how they can affect your case. Contact our office to set up a consultation appointment if you are involved in an interstate child visitation or custody dispute.