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Parental rights case will be moved from Utah to Illinois

Child custody in Illinois and across the country can be a complicated matter especially if access to the child is in dispute. This is frequently an issue if there is a disagreement over parental rights, and it can become significantly more complicated if the matter hinges on various factors such as residency, jurisdiction and enforcement. Having experienced help with these complex family law issues is always important, but in cases in which these circumstances are in place, it is even more so.

A man from Colorado has been embroiled in a court fight over access to his biological son. It was recently decided by the Utah Supreme Court that, based on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), that the boy's home state is Illinois and the case must be heard there. This in spite of the fact that the boy was born in Utah. The boy had been adopted by parents in Illinois and spent slightly more than one week of his life in Utah. Since he lived in Illinois for more than six months, the law defines his home state as Illinois. With no connection of the boy to Utah, the case cannot be heard there. Neither of the parents lives there either.

The child is nearly six. The court records show that the birth mother became pregnant with the boy after being involved in a short-term relationship with the man who is lodging the protest. She informed the man not long before giving birth that she was pregnant and intended to place the child up for adoption. He tried to prevent it, but after the woman gave birth in Utah in September 2010, she placed the child up for adoption. The case has gone back and forth since then with the latest ruling another wrinkle in its resolution.

While many cases are not this emotionally difficult and complex, any family legal issues when it comes to a custody dispute can be hard to handle. Those who are in the middle of a dispute or are planning to part ways and are concerned about children may want to make sure they have their rights protected with help from an attorney experienced in a wide range of family law issues.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Illinois has jurisdiction over parental rights case now in Utah court, ruling says," Pamela Manson, Aug. 28, 2016

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