Sharing Custody When One Parent Lives Out of State

A couple recently went through a long and contentious divorce. Two months after the divorce was finalized, the wife's mother was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer that is aggressive. As an only child, the wife felt that it was her responsibility to take care of her mother. She has moved to an apartment in Minnesota near her mother. However, now she realizes that their current child custody agreement will not work.

She would like to petition the court to modify the child custody agreement. Her ex-husband is not on board and has informed her that he plans to fight any changes to the child custody agreement. She would also like to move the child custody cases to Minnesota instead of Illinois.

When one parent lives in Illinois and the other lives in another state, Illinois uses the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to determine which state's court should have jurisdiction over the child custody dispute. Courts use the Act to determine the initial jurisdiction and modify cases in emergencies. These types of cases are rare in Illinois, but they do happen, and it's wise to work with an Illinois child custody lawyer who has experience with interstate custody disputes.

Initial Custody Determinations

When one spouse objects to the jurisdiction in a child custody proceeding, such as the wife, in this case, objecting to Illinois remaining the jurisdiction, the court will look at four different factors:

  • Home state jurisdiction
  • Significant connection and substantial evidence jurisdiction
  • Convenient forum jurisdiction
  • Child’s location when no state has jurisdiction

Courts will consider the child's home state, which in this case would be Illinois. They will also consider any evidence of the child's connection to either state and the state in which the case was first filed.

Modification Determinations

When one parent files a motion to modify a previous child custody order filed in Illinois for an order originating in another state, the original state needs to decline jurisdiction. Alternatively, the parents and the child must no longer live in the original state. The originating state will need to rule that Illinois is more convenient for him or that the issuing state does not have to continue as an exclusive jurisdiction. When a parent or a child is still living in the originating stay, the issuing state must decline jurisdiction.

Emergency Determinations

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act also governs emergency determinations. Under the law, one parent can request that an Illinois court take emergency jurisdiction over the case. The other parent who resides outside the state can also request that another state take emergency jurisdiction. Typically, cases like these only involve abandonment or when a child has been abused or threatened with abuse.

Discuss Your Case With a Child Custody Attorney

If you need representation for a divorce or child support matter in Cook County, Glasgow & Olsson is here to help. When you need an attorney, experience matters. Contact us today to learn how our experience can get you the results you deserve.

This entry was posted in: 

And tagged: