November 2017 – Moving across state and international borders

By Max N. Hanson

We now live in a mobile society, especially here in the U.S. It is a common occurrence for people to move from one state to another, and even to other countries. The promise of a new educational or employment opportunity, or simply new experiences, keeps millions of Americans on the move each year.

Aside from the obvious impacts a move like this has on individuals and their families, moving across state and international borders may also impact your family law case or orders entered here in Arizona or in another state.

In the context of family law, individuals can be faced with a dizzying array of questions.

  • What happens when one parent doesn’t live in Arizona?
  • Which court has the authority to make decisions concerning parties that live in separate states or other countries?
  • How is that to be determined?
  • Who enforces those orders?
  • Are Arizona’s court orders upheld in other states or countries?
  • Does Arizona uphold other states’ and countries’ orders?

This issue and the laundry list of questions above are the subject matter of this month’s four-part blog series.

The first blog will focus on determining jurisdiction for legal decision-making and parenting time. In it, I will discuss the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and its application in cases where one parent does not reside in the same state as the other parent.

Next, I discuss the Hague Convention and the impact it has had on international child abductions and custody disputes.

My third blog focuses on the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act which governs the establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support orders across states.

Finally, my last blog in this series outlines the domestication of foreign orders, either from another state or another country, here in Arizona for enforcement and/or modification.