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Interstate custody case comes to tragic conclusion

When parents in Clarksville choose to separate, it may not be uncommon for one to choose to relocate. While such a move may help to ease any tensions that their children may have witnessed as having existed between them, it may make maintaining a relationship with the relocated parent difficult. Such an issue may get even more complicated if a custody agreement has yet to be reached. Suddenly (if both parents are living in different states), the issue of which state was jurisdiction over the case may complicate matters even further. One might assume that the family courts in both states would corroborate on the matter, yet that is not always the case.

This complicated scenario recently played out in real life in a custody dispute involving a mother in Florida and father in Michigan. The woman had left Michigan for Florida with the children (a girl and two boys) a few years ago, after which she and the children began receiving state assistance. The man was later contacted by Florida officials seeking child support. After filing a counterclaim asking for custody, the man was granted it by a Michigan judge. Florida officials, however, refused to acknowledge the ruling and even went so far as to bar the man from visiting the children. Sadly, the entire ordeal was recently resolved after the father was given custody of his daughter after the boys were killed in a drunk driving accident which the mother is alleged to have caused.

Arguing jurisdiction in a child custody case can be a complicated matter, particularly for one not familiar with law. Fortunately, a family law attorney may provide the knowledge needed to present a successful argument in his or her case.

Source: "Two courts, two different custody decisions" Schindler, Anne, Oct. 27, 2016

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