One of the freedoms that the United States Constitution affords residents is the right to determine where they live in this country. In some cases that can be more than one place during one’s lifetime. Whether it be for work, family, weather, or personal taste, it is not uncommon for individuals to relocate with their families, perhaps more than once, between the several states. Interstate travel is no longer impractical thanks to modern and efficient transportation, whether by air, rail or interstate highway travel. We are a mobile civilization. Our ever-increasing mobility presents some question then as to whether and how the various laws among the several states affect individuals moving between states. To what extent does a divorce, child custody, or parenting time Order from a foreign state affect an individual or family recently relocating to Minnesota? Conversely, does a Minnesota child custody or parenting time order continue to apply to former residents now living in other states? To help answer this question the fifty states have enacted a body of law known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), codified in Minnesota at Minn. Stat. Chap. 518D et seq. The purpose of this law is to assist individuals and the courts in understanding whether Minnesota, or some other state’s laws, apply to a child custody or parenting time question for a child who may have ties to another state. If a child is subject to a custody order or parenting time schedule from another state, and lives in Minnesota, the UCCJEA will help a court decide whether it has jurisdiction to apply and enforce Minnesota child custody and parenting time law with respect to that child. Although the law is very nuanced with several exceptions and caveats, generally speaking, the terms of a child custody or parenting time order come under the jurisdiction of a Minnesota court after a child has lived in Minnesota for six consecutive months. It is after six months of continued residence here that the state where the child custody or parenting time order originated, effectively ‘loses’ the ability to enforce, adjust, or modify the terms of that order. Minnesota effectively takes ownership of the child’s case. It is important to point out that this does not automatically happen, and that there are several steps that must be taken in order to bring the case before a Minnesota court. One should always refer to the UCCJEA before attempting to modify or enforce the terms of an out-of-state child custody or parenting time order in Minnesota. At Alithis Family Law, our Minnesota Family Law Attorneys have experience with the UCCJEA, and other child custody and parenting time laws. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact us today for your free consultation.

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