DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer for Interstate Jurisdiction

Glen Ellyn child relocation attorney for interstate jurisdiction

Family Law Attorneys for Cases Involving Change of Venue or UCCJEA in Wheaton, Naperville, and Carol Stream

Divorce and family law cases involving children can often be very complex and challenging. Parents will need to resolve a wide variety of issues related to the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, and more. Unfortunately, these matters can become even more complicated when parents no longer live near each other, and there is a disagreement about where their case will be heard. To ensure that your rights are protected in these situations, you will want to work with a lawyer who understands how to address issues related to jurisdiction of child-related cases (formerly custody matters).

At McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C., we understand the importance of resolving family law cases in a way that will allow you to maintain a close and continuing relationship with your children. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience, and we have represented clients and helped them address multiple types of complex child custody issues. We will advocate for your rights and work to protect your children's best interests throughout the course of your case.

Venue, Jurisdiction, and the UCCJEA

In a child custody case, the "venue" refers to the county court where a case is filed within the state. "Jurisdiction" refers to the right of a court to hear a case and make legally-enforceable orders that apply to the parties. If both parents live within the state of Illinois, a case may be filed in the county where either parent lives, and a court will typically have jurisdiction to address child-related issues. However, the determination of jurisdiction can become more complicated if parents live in different counties, have a conflict within the county or live in different states. 

The Illinois Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (750 ILCS 36) addresses how interstate jurisdiction is determined in child custody cases. In an initial child custody determination (that is, a case where no previous child custody order has been issued), the child's home state will have jurisdiction over the case. The UCCJEA defines "home state" as the state where a child lived with a parent for at least six months before the child custody case was filed. If a child has not lived in any state for at least six months, a state may have jurisdiction if the child and at least one parent have a "significant connection" with the state or if there is substantial evidence that the child has personal relationships or has received education, training, care, or protection in a state.

Once a state court has issued a child custody order, that state will have exclusive and continuing jurisdiction in any further matters related to the custody of the child, such as requests for parenting plan modification or child relocation, unless that court relinquishes jurisdiction to that state. Jurisdiction may only be transferred to another state if the child and both parents move out of the state, or if the parties no longer have a significant connection with the state, and there is no substantial evidence of a child's personal relationships, education, training, care, or protection in a state.

In some cases, a state may have temporary emergency jurisdiction in a child custody case if orders, such as an order of protection, need to be issued to protect a child in situations where the child, their sibling, or their parent have been the victim of domestic violence. Orders issued by a court with temporary emergency jurisdiction may apply for a specified period of time, or they may remain in effect until a court that would have proper jurisdiction under the UCCJEA issues an order in the case. If no previous child custody order had been issued, and no child custody case is commenced in the state where the child previously lived, the state where the temporary order was issued may become the home state of the child, and the temporary child custody order may become permanent.

Contact Our Glendale Heights Child Custody Attorneys

If you want to make sure your child custody case is heard in the proper venue, the lawyers of McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. can help you understand how the law applies to you, and we will fight to protect your rights and help you reach decisions that provide for your children's best interests. Whether you need to establish child custody during your divorce, modify an existing child custody order, or prevent your ex-spouse from moving to another state with your child, we can provide the legal help you need. Contact us today at 630-407-1200 to schedule your free consultation. We assist with child custody and child relocation cases in Wheaton, Carol Stream, Naperville, Glendale Heights, Winfield, Glen Ellyn, Warrenville, DuPage County, Cook County, Kane County, Will County, and Kendall County.

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