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Can I Modify a Child Custody Order from Another State?

Determining Which State Has Jurisdiction Over Your Case

Modifying child custody orders can be complex, especially when parents relocate. If the parents move away from the state court which originally had jurisdiction over their case, to Missouri, they must follow a number of steps before Missouri may have jurisdiction to enter a ruling on any modification that they are now seeking.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a law adopted by Missouri and other states that offers guidelines for how to handle child custody issues that transcend state lines. The act requires courts to respect and enforce the Judgments/orders issued in other states. Generally, only one state may have jurisdiction over a given issue at a single time.

Generally, if an out-of-state custody Judgment/order is registered with Missouri courts as UCCJEA describes, then the order becomes enforceable in Missouri.

Some of the reasons why a Missouri court may agree to modify your order include:

  • The state that ordered the original custody Judgment/order claims it cannot modify it
  • The court that ordered the original custody Judgment agrees to transfer the case to Missouri
  • There are no interested parties living in the original state, such as the child, parent, or guardian

If there are still interested parties residing in the original state, you may be required to submit paperwork requesting the case be transferred to Missouri courts.

Our attorneys will help you determine whether Missouri has jurisdiction over your child custody case and file the necessary paperwork to seek a modification in Missouri. Contact us online or at (636) 552-4841 for more information.

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