When a couple divorces, each person may stay close to home to stay connected with their children. However, what would happen if one or both parents move to another state? The good news is that a custody order remains in effect regardless of where one or both parents live. This is generally referred to as the full faith and credit custody law.
For instance, if a judge in California made a ruling about custody or visitation, a judge in Florida would be required to abide by it. The same is true if an order is modified or if a temporary order is made permanent by the home state judge. A child's home state is any state where the child lived for six consecutive months with one or both parents. If a child is under six months old, it would be where the child lived since he or she was born.
In some cases, a court can assume jurisdiction if no other state court has a clear claim. However, the parents and child would still need a connection to the state, and it would need to be in the best interest of the child for that state to become the home state. If a case has begun in another state, that state will have jurisdiction at least until that court makes a ruling.
Child custody is often one of the most contentious family law issues during and in the aftermath of a divorce. Parents who believe that their parental rights are being infringed upon by, for example, being denied visitation that had previously been awarded may want legal assistance in resolving the matter.