Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in South Carolina

Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in South Carolina (UCCJEA) – Child Custody Jurisdiction – State Conflicts

All 50 states have adopted the same rules when one parent is in a different state than that of the child and the action filed is an initial custody determination. The rules are called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. They are codified in South Carolina in S.C. Code Section 63-15-330.

The primary test for jurisdiction is whether a “State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this State, but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this State.” Further “home state” as suggested by the “or” provision, is the state where the child has lived for the previous six (6) months before filing.

Therefore, if one parent runs off (from a “home state”) to another state and files proceedings, that state would not have jurisdiction under this article.

The UCCJEA does allow temporary jurisdiction to be exercised in a state other than the home state in situations of abuse to a parent or the the child. This is codified in S.C. Code Section 63-15-336. However, in these situations, the orders issued are only good until a Court with jurisdiction under the “home state” analysis makes a determination.

Please remember that each case is unique. If you have any questions about child custody jurisdiction, or if your child has been moved away without your consent, we urge you to contact us. In order to be flexible and convenient, we have open office hours, easy appointment scheduling, and payment plans available. Call today and schedule your free confidential consultation.

Our law office serves people across the Upstate, South Carolina, including: Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Pickens, Laurens, and Oconee counties.