A: The first question when dealing with interstate issues is usually jurisdiction. Generally, the Court that entered the original order is the Court that continues to handle the custody case until both parents have moved from that state. Thus, if the order was issued in State A and there is at least one parent still residing there, then usually you need to bring up your custody issues in State A and the laws in State A apply. There can be some variation in custody laws from state to state so you want to make sure you seek legal advice in the correct state. From your question, there isn't enough information to tell what state's laws apply in your situation.
Even if a state does not
have jurisdiction over the custody case, you can sometime seek an emergency custody order in another jurisdiction. However, the Court would only have jurisdiction for a short period of time, just enough to address the emergency, and then further rulings and orders must be handled by the state that has jurisdiction. Thus, sometimes it makes sense to file for emergency custody in a state that does not have ongoing jurisdiction, but often it makes sense to file for emergency custody in the state that will have ongoing jurisdiction over the case.
If both a parent and a non-parent (like a grandparent) are fighting over custody, then you might actually have two cases pending. One being a custody case between the parents and another being a guardianship case between the non-parent and parent. There is a parental preference. A parent has constitutional rights to their children and is generally the first choice for custody of a child. However, a child also has rights too. The Court has to look at the "best interests" of the child. Often it is a matter of balancing the different rights of the parties and of the child and keeping the child's best interests as the paramount factor. If the mother has not had a lot of contact with the child in some time and placing the child, at least temporarily, with grandma allows the child to remain in the child's current city, school, etc., a judge might find that the child should be placed with grandma, at least until on a temporary basis, so that the child can remain at their current school, etc. until more information about the situation is known to the Court. On the other hand, if the child has not been in a good situation for some time, the Court may want to place the child with the other parent if they offer stability and safety that the child would not have if placed with grandma.
Your friend needs to speak with an attorney about her situation and options. There is often some strategy in these situations as to where to file and when. If the father is incarcerated and the mother is seeking sole custody, it sounds like she needs to file a custody action at this time. ... Read More
A: Depending on your facts, this could mean a number of different things. If this is a custody dispute between two parents, then the judge may be suggesting that you file for an emergency order of custody with a request to suspend the other parent's parenting time on an emergency basis. As far as I know there aren't any court-approved forms for this. Thus, you would have to draft these on your own or hire an attorney to draft them for you. To request an emergency custody order, you generally first have to have an open custody case pending, such as a paternity/custody case or a modification action. Then you have to file a motion and affidavit asking for emergency custody and provide
an order to the Court as to your requests if the Judge grants the motion. If the motion is granted, you then have to serve the other party with the order.
You have to appear and defend your request at the hearing that is usually set within about 10 days of the order being granted. You may have other or different steps to take depending on your specific situation. ... Read More
A: The parent would have to prove that there is a material change in circumstances and that it is in the minor child's best interests to change custody. Generally, if a child is doing incredibly well, then the parent asking to change custody to move out-of-state may have an uphill battle to change custody. The judges seen a lot of children in custody cases that really aren't doing great. If a child is doing well, the judge may be hesitant to change things if the current custody arrangement is working well for the child.
You would need to speak with your attorney about the specifics of your case to see what the odds are in your specific situation. For example, if the child is 17
years old and is doing well, the Court might give a lot of weight to the child's preference. If the child wants to move to the other state with the other parent, the Court might grant the request due to the child's maturity and if there are sound reasonings for the decision. ... Read More