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What if I do not like the present custody order? Can I file for custody in another state?
Bouncing cases across state lines in search of a “favorable” judge who “sees it your way” was very common for years, made a mess of custody actions, until the enactment of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA for short). Adopted by all states, it avoids the competition and conflict for jurisdiction between courts of different states. Courts cannot take custody cases unless the child has lived in the state for a certain period of time immediately preceding the filing of the lawsuit. Furthermore, a court cannot reiterate the custody awards of another state, unless there is a genuine emergency and even then, the modifications would be limited to the emergency, not to wholesale changes in the original custody arrangement. The bottom line, most likely, is going back to the state where the last custody order was issued.
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