Kentucky Bankruptcy Law

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Continuing jurisdiction over child custody and visitation

In a Kentucky Court of Appeals decision slated to be published, Wallace v. Wallace, 2006-CA-001430-ME, the precedence of continuing jurisdiction over home state jurisdiction was reaffirmed. This Court cited the Kansas case of Ruth v. Ruth, 32 Kan.App. 2d 416, 421, 83 P.3d 1248, 1254 (2004) for the point that the original state retains jurisdiction until the:

    “relationship between the child and the person remaining in the state with exclusive, continuing jurisdiction becomes so attenuated that a court could no longer find significant connections and substantial evidence.”

In Wallace, one parent and two children had resided in Tennessee for two years while the other parent and one child remained in Kentucky where the divorce occurred. The trial court dismissed a motion by the Kentucky parent to modify visitation in its entirety because the two children in Tennessee had established a new home state. The Court of Appeals reversed this decision and highlighted the importance in the modern jurisdictional laws of avoiding conflicts among states. Since one parent and child remained in Kentucky, this state maintained continuing jurisdiction.

The significance is that simply moving with your child to a different state and residing there for over six months does not mean jurisdiction over custody and time sharing will move with you to your new home state. As long as there is a significant connection to the original state, such as a parent remaining there and having regular visitation, that state retains jurisdiction unless it chooses to relinguish it.

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June 1, 2007 - Posted by | Family Law

1 Comment »

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