Most custody decisions are made by family courts. However, where a juvenile court has found that a minor poses a threat to society if current custody arrangements continue, the juvenile court may turn over physical custody to the state.

Jurisdiction is an issue that receives much attention. A court has the power to settle a custody dispute if a child lives for at least six months in the location where the court has jurisdiction or if it is demonstrated that the court has the closest connection with the child. All states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, originally adopted in 1967, which provides that a state’s court will not accept a custody case unless that state has original jurisdiction or the state with original jurisdiction relinquishes it.

A parent’s interstate move sometimes blurs jurisdictional lines. For this reason, courts may restrict the geographic area in which a parent may live as part of the custody order, or may deny a subsequent request for permission to move if the move is viewed as an attempt to hinder visitation.

See also…

Child Custody and Support