Child custody jurisdiction laws may vary from country to country. Many places, however, consider some of the same factors in determining child custody jurisdiction. These factors often include the child’s place of residence in the six months prior to the original custody proceeding and the parents' places of residence. If a child has been abused or placed in other dangerous situations, these factors may be considered in determining jurisdiction as well.
Jurisdiction is an important consideration in child custody cases. If one or both parents move to new jurisdictions, it can be difficult to decide where a custody trial should be held and which custody laws will apply to the case. Additionally, some people attempt to use their mobility to have their custody cases heard in a jurisdiction with more favorable laws or even to move their children to a new location against the other parent’s will. Child custody jurisdiction laws help prevent such confusion and maneuverings.
Often, a child’s home jurisdiction is the primary consideration in determining child custody jurisdiction. For example, some countries call the child’s home jurisdiction the jurisdiction in which he lived for the six months leading up to beginning of a new custody proceeding. For example, if a child lived in jurisdiction B for a year and moves to jurisdiction C, jurisdiction B would usually maintain jurisdiction over any new custody proceedings until the child has lived in the new location for six months. After six months had passed, jurisdiction C would have jurisdiction over brand-new proceedings.
Sometimes deciding custody jurisdiction is not as simple as determining a child’s home jurisdiction. For example, both parents may move to different places, making it harder to make custody jurisdiction determinations. In such a case, the place with which the child or either of his parents maintains significant connections may have jurisdiction. Sometimes, however, there are no such connections or it is determined that it would be in the child’s best interest to have the case tried where he is living, even if he has not lived there for six months.
In some places, emergency jurisdiction can be established. This may occur, for example, when a child has been abused or abandoned. In such a case, emergency jurisdiction may be established in the new place of residence as a measure to protect or see to the well-being of the child. This may be overturned, however, if the other parent starts proceedings in the home jurisdiction.
Child custody jurisdiction laws can be complex. A person who is a party to a custody proceeding may do well to seek a lawyer's help in understanding his jurisdiction's laws and how they apply to his situation. In some cases, attempting to circumvent such laws can lead to the loss of custody.