Custody Jurisdiction And Relocation

In theory, the best interests of your child are the overriding consideration in custody, parenting time and child support disputes. In reality, it matters where your case is heard and which judge is presiding. It also matters who is representing you and whether your attorney knows how to apply the law to your advantage.

John Anthony Ward has practiced in family law in Wisconsin since 1985 and in Illinois since 1986. He has extensive experience in child custody litigation in divorce and paternity cases and in post-decree proceedings, including complex jurisdictional disputes. He fully understands that the outcome may profoundly impact your relationship with your child, your child's future and your finances.

Interstate Jurisdiction: Protecting Your Parental Rights

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Reciprocal Support Enforcement Act (URESA) were enacted to prevent parents from crossing borders to "shop" for a favorable judge, deprive the other parent of custody or escape their support obligations. The court where custody and support are initially determined retains jurisdiction unless both parents agree to transfer their case to a new court.

Child custody and child support laws do differ from state to state, however, and you may need aggressive and skilled representation to assert your rights. In Wisconsin, for example, child support terminates at age 18 or upon graduation, but in Illinois, support obligations may continue beyond high school, including college.

These are complicated issues — even among lawyers, there is a lot of misunderstanding over which state has jurisdiction. John Anthony Ward provides experienced and proactive representation to establish proper jurisdiction and to fight improper petitions to move the case elsewhere. He is knowledgeable about the UCCJEA and state-specific statutes regarding:

Parent relocation can be especially contentious and complex. While the burden falls on the noncustodial parent who objects, the UCCJEA prevents taking a child to another state without the other parent's knowledge or consent. We have successfully represented clients on both sides of relocation disputes, and just as importantly, we help parents work out the logistics, finances and parenting plans when the court authorizes the move.

over 31 years Of Experience In Family Law

Kenosha lawyer John Anthony Ward regularly asserts and defends the rights of parents in the family courts of southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. He is familiar with the judges in these jurisdictions and how they typically interpret the law. He knows the steps to take to protect your interests and considers the broader picture of how these matters will affect you and the best interests of your child.

For jurisdictional matters in Kenosha, Racine, Waukegan or surrounding areas, call 262-671-0165 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation.