Interstate child custody cases are governed by several state and federal
statutes. These include:
- State child
custody jurisdictional statutes
(the UCCJA or the UCCJEA), which determine when a state court may take
jurisdiction over (hear) a custody matter, when a state court may change an
existing custody order, and other related issues. The
UCCJEA from the National Council of
Commissioners on Uniform State Laws provides commentary.
which determine whether a court may exercise personal jurisdiction over (hear a
case involving) an out-of-state defendant.
relocation statutes, which determine whether a custodial parent may relocate with her children and
establish notice requirements for such a move.
- Federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), which determines whether courts
must honor and enforce custody orders issued by other states, as well as whether
a court may change an order issued by another state and whether a court may
exercise jurisdiction over (hear) a case when there is a proceeding pending
(going on) in another state.
- Federal Violence Against Women Actís Full Faith and Credit provisions, which
(require protection orders issued by a court in one location to be enforced
nationwide) govern interstate enforcement of protection orders.
Domestic violence cases are governed by many other state statutes, including
state protection order and criminal laws and child custody statutes. You can
find information about these laws on other internet sites, including:
Family Violence Department of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court
Judges: Searchable database
of domestic violence/protection order statutes and domestic violence criminal
State-by-state listing of domestic violence statutes, forms, and other resources