Interstate Custody

Child Custody When Parents Relocate

The Dohner Law Firm provides local representation for parents who live in other states but who have child custody matters in Ohio. Attorney Dohner also represents parties in Ohio proceedings when one parent petitions to relocate out of state with the children.

Custody issues are always contentious, but in interstate custody matters, it must first be determined which court has jurisdiction. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) influences whether the case is heard in Ohio or elsewhere.

Attorney John M. Dohner has substantial experience in interstate custody disputes, including hearings to determine venue, post-decree modifications, and enforcement of parenting plans (visitation) or support. He practices in Summit County and surrounding jurisdictions of northeastern Ohio.

Interstate Custody Disputes

We represent Ohio residents who have a former spouse in another state, as well as parents who have moved away from Ohio after divorce. Mr. Dohner has handled many scenarios, including:

  • The residential (custodial) parent is interfering with visitation.
  • The other parent is seeking to modify child support.
  • The other parent seeks to move out of state or has already relocated the kids without permission of the court.

Under federal law, the child's primary state of residence usually determines where these cases are heard. But, there are gray areas in determining interstate custody venue, and the experience of your attorney matters. Mr. Dohner has practiced in custody law for 25-plus years and is certified in Ohio as a Family Relations Specialist.

Parent Relocation

A parent wishing to move out of Ohio with the children must file a Notice of Intent to Relocate with the court and inform the other parent. If that parent objects, a custody modification hearing is set to hear arguments.

Some Ohio counties have specific guidelines for addressing long-distance relocation. The courts are concerned foremost with the best interests of the child, but many factors are considered:

  • The existing child custody order — Does one parent have primary custody or is it a shared parenting plan?
  • Any geographic limitations written into the custody agreement
  • Legitimate reason for the move (job opportunities, family support network)
  • Harm to the other parent's relationship with the child
  • Past cooperation of the relocating parent (or lack thereof)

Attorney Dohner will explain your rights and options and thoroughly prepare you for contested proceedings. With extensive experience handling a wide array of different cases and controversies, Attorney Dohner has the knowledge and expertise to resolve complex family issues in a professional and competent manner. He is a skilled trial attorney with years of experience successfully litigating a host of varied disputes and criminal matters. If you are in the midst of an interstate custody dispute, or the child’s other parent is initiating one, contact us today.