Lengthy Visitation Within Six Months Does Not Impact Which State Is Granted Custody Jurisdiction

When parents live far apart, in different states, it is often critical which state’s court has jurisdiction over a disputed custody case. The state that has jurisdiction will have the dispute heard in the courts located in that state. Thus, the unlucky parent who lives in a state that does not have jurisdiction will likely have to travel (along with witnesses) to the state with jurisdiction for one or more hearings.  Jurisdiction is mechanically defined as the state in which the child lived for six consecutive months before a case is filed. According to a recent case from the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, even though a child went back to Maryland for a week of visitation during the six consecutive months, this did not stop Indiana from being designated as the state where the child lived and the state with jurisdiction.

 

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