Visitation & State Jurisdiction

by Jessie from Norwich, Connecticut

Where do I file for visitation, contempt of court, & for court order re-modification?

In May of 2008 my ex husband was awarded sole custody of our two sons they now reside in Florida in Riverview.

The court order was done in the state of South Carolina in the city of Sumter.

I was told that South Carolina had to handle this since it was done there then I heard the opposite story. I need to know which state and how?

Which court and the address of the court to file things too please. My ex husband isn't allowing me visitation in over a year and refuses to communicate to me why. I live in the state of Connecticut. thanks for your help.

Answer to Florida Child Visitation Question

Dear Jessie,

Relying on the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), the state where you need to file for visitation is Florida, unless your sons have lived in Florida for less than six months.

If they have all moved to Florida during the past six months from South Carolina, then jurisdiction remains in South Carolina.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice bulletin, located online here:

Home State jurisdiction. The UCCJEA gives home State jurisdiction priority in initial child-custody proceedings. In doing so, the Act conforms to the PKPA and rejects the UCCJA’s coequal treatment of home State and significant connection jurisdiction.

Only in cases in which a child has no home State or the home State declines jurisdiction may another court exercise significant connection jurisdiction. This change is intended to significantly reduce the number of situations in which more than one State has jurisdiction over a child-custody matter.

In turn, the incidence of conflicting custody orders being issued by courts in different States should also decrease. Under the UCCJEA, a court has home State jurisdiction if it is located in the child’s home State (as of the date proceedings are commenced).

Or if it is located in the State that was the child’s home State within 6 months of the proceedings’ commencement and the child’s parent (or a person acting as his or her parent) continues to live in the State even after the child has been removed.

This extended home State rule allows a left-behind parent to commence a custody proceeding within 6 months of a child’s removal from the home State.

The UCCJEA allows a child custody or child visitation from one state to be registered and enforced in another state.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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