We’ve blogged about certified legal interpreting and certified legal language services in international divorce cases. Each of the 50 states has specific legislation on their books relating to international family law, based on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act (“UCCJEA”), which forms the basis for child custody jurisdiction in the U.S. As a general rule, a child’s home state determines jurisdiction. Specifically, according to the UCCJEA:
“Home state means the State in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. In the case of a child less than six months of age, the term means the State in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.”
Needless to say, in the majority of custody disputes, this paragraph makes the issue of jurisdiction quite clear. But there are exceptions. For example, what does ‘immediately before’ mean? And what if the child was living in a foreign state ‘immediately before’ the child custody hearing? Does that mean that the foreign country has jurisdiction? This, of course, depends. The first step is to determine the custody and jurisdiction laws of the foreign country and, based on a foreign language translation, provide them as evidence for or against jurisdiction in the U.S. state.
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Notarized Foreign Language Translations in International Divorce Law