- Is family law governed by state or federal law?
- What is the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act?
- What is the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children?
- Do custody, child support and alimony orders transfer from state to state?
- What is the Hague Abduction Convention?
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Family legal issues are a matter of state law. Only one state at a time may have jurisdiction over a family law matter. Several interstate pacts govern interstate relocation, child support and child abduction. The facts of your case determine which laws apply, so interstate family law disputes can be complicated. We help you understand how various state law and interstate pacts overlap and apply to your situation.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act governs jurisdiction and enforcement in interstate and international child custody matters. The UCCJEA was established to minimize jurisdictional wrangling among states and to prevent parents from forum shopping for a state with favorable custody or child support laws. The UCCJEA limits jurisdiction of custody matters to one state and establishes uniform criteria for determining jurisdiction. Generally, Florida courts retain jurisdiction over custody and support cases if one parent still lives here.
The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) gives a state long-arm jurisdiction over a child support debtor, even when the debtor is no longer a resident of the state where the child lives. This is an exception to the normal rules of law wherein a court would not have jurisdiction over a nonresident. A state court can exercise jurisdiction under this act if one party or child resides in the state or if the parties agree to jurisdiction in a particular state. This act helps with the enforcement of child support orders among states.
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is an interstate agreement enacted by all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The ICPC controls the lawful movement of children from one state to another for the purposes of adoption, foster care or other placement. Both the originating state where the child was born and the receiving state where the adoptive parents live must approve the child’s movement in writing before the child can legally leave the originating state.
The broad purpose of the Hague Abduction Convention is to return abducted children to their habitual residence so a court can enter a custody decree. You can petition to invoke the protection of the Hague Abduction Convention if the other parent or person wrongfully removed or retained your child who is under 16 years of age and you had rights of custody and were exercising those rights at the time. For situations to which the Hague Abduction Convention does not apply, the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act makes it a federal criminal offense for a parent to wrongfully remove or attempt to remove or retain a child outside U.S. borders with the intent to obstruct custodial rights. Mr. Katz has mentored, consulted or been counsel of record in more than 300 Hague Abduction Convention and child abduction cases as well of having several years of experience in criminal law. He has obtained warrants of arrest from federal and local authorities for abducting parents.