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Settling Parental Disputes Across State Lines

 Posted on March 21, 2018 in Child Custody / Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Settling Parental Disputes Across State LinesDisputes involving the allocation of parental responsibilities become more complicated when one of the parents moves to a different state. Relocating with a child from Illinois to another state requires court permission, decided by what is in the best interest of the child. If the relocation is approved, there are new questions about:

Most states in the U.S., including Illinois, have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to set guidelines for co-parenting across state lines.


Each state has its own laws regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, more commonly referred to as child custody. Thus, state jurisdiction over parenting agreements can make a significant difference in how disputes are settled between co-parents. The UCCJEA instructs courts to give jurisdiction to the child’s home state, but the court must also consider which state has the strongest connection to both parents. For example:

  • If a parenting agreement is created in one state and the child is later relocated to another state, the original state maintains jurisdiction as long as one of the parents still lives there; but
  • If neither parent lives in the child’s original home state, the child's new state of residency has jurisdiction.

For situations in which a child is in danger, a state that does not have jurisdiction over the parenting agreement may take temporary emergency jurisdiction until the case can be transferred to the home state.


The UCCJEA also requires states to enforce parenting agreements created in other states when one of the parents is violating the agreement. A parent can file a petition through his or her home state ordering another state’s court to enforce the terms of the parenting agreement. The other state’s court can order the non-compliant parent to appear in court immediately. The court may also issue a warrant to seize custody of the child if an immediate danger exists.

Home Court

Determining the state with jurisdiction over a parenting agreement will give an advantage to one parent. Whenever there are attempts to modify the parenting agreement, the non-resident parent must travel for the court appearance and hire a local attorney. By comparison, the process will be more convenient for the residential parent and may give him or her leverage in the case. A DuPage County family law attorney at Calabrese Associates, PC, can represent you during any attempts to modify your parenting agreement. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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