Lynchburg, VA asked in Family Law for Virginia

Q: How can my mother gain emergency guardianship of my son without my consent?

I reside in Virginia which my son was born. My mother has been watching over him for me while I work to get my house together. She goes & files for emergency guardianship which she claims was granted in Delaware without my knowledge or consent

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1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The jurisdiction over, or power to decide, interstate custody and visitation disputes is based on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, UCCJEA, a uniform law adopted in almost all the states. The purpose of the UCCJEA is to require a connection between the residence of the child and the decision-making power of the court. It attempts to correct a prior practice of moving the child to another state in an attempt to gain an advantage over the out-of-state parent. The UCCJEA creates a hierarchy of conditions that might prefer one court over another. The "home state" is where the child has resided for the last six months, or the state in which a child has resided for the greater portion of that six month period. A jurisdiction where an existing order addressing custody or visitation also has priority.

Any person with a legitimate interest in a child custody or visitation dispute who files for a determination must file an affidavit, a sworn statement, setting forth the child's residences for the last 5 years, and a statement regarding whether there are any existing custody and visitation orders. By doing so, the court may determine if it is the most appropriate jurisdiction for a decision.

Any person with an interstate custody or visitation dispute should consult with an experienced Virginia family law lawyer.

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