At MKH we recognized that many parents and families were unable to afford quality legal representation in their family law and child custody cases. Our founding attorney, Harmony, witnessed her parents go through a highly contested divorce and custody issues when she was a child. That experience also opened her eyes at a young age to the dysfunction of the family court system, which includes family law attorneys that increase conflict so they can create more work and charge their clients more money. Harmony’s experiences shape how she runs the family law side of the practice.

At MKH we recognize the financial and emotional impact family law cases have on parents and children. We approach family law with a strategy that aims to minimize the emotional impact on parents and children, while also keeping representation affordable and accessible to parents and advocating for your child’s best interests. Our family law and child custody services provide parents with obtainable quality legal representation—we offer affordable flat fees with low monthly payment plans. We do not require thousands of dollars in a retainer to get started like most other family law attorneys. Our approach also aims to resolve your case in a cost-effective manner instead of us benefiting from increasing conflict and litigation. Harmony graduated in the top of her law school class, passed the California Bar Exam on her first try, has been licensed since 2014, and provides quality and experienced representation in family court. In addition to her experience in family court and child custody cases, Harmony also has experience in cases involving domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual abuse allegations.

We provide family law services in the following areas: Dissolution (Divorce), Parentage, Child Custody & Visitation, Child Support, Spousal Support, Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVROs), and asset & debt division. Our consultations are free and with our experienced family law and child custody attorney, Harmony Alves. We represent parents in family law cases in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Diego County, and select other counties. We do take some cases on reduced rates and in other counties, including Central California and Northern California counties.

Are you in the middle of a dispute with the other parent about which jurisdiction applies in your child custody and child support case? Today, families are mixed and varied. A father may live in one city or another state while the mother lives in another city or another state entirely. These situations can make it difficult when determining which state’s rules and laws apply to custody and support.

At MKH Accident Attorneys, APC, our child custody and child support lawyer in Southern California (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, & San Diego County) knows the law and how to handle these delicate cases.

We help parents resolve jurisdictional conflicts as well as other conflicts because it’s in the best interest of the child. Contact us either online or call us directly at (949) 299-7632 to schedule a Free Consultation.

What is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act?

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was created to solve the problem of multiple jurisdictions creating and modifying child custody orders. The Act only allows for one state to have the jurisdiction to create and modify any one order, and it also addresses how these orders are to be enforced in other jurisdictions. Almost all states have adopted the UCCJEA.

How Do I Initiate a Custody Petition in California

While the UCCJEA has been adopted by almost all states, the exact way to initiate a petition under the UCCJEA may vary between states. If there are multiple states involved and you wish to seek custody of a child under the UCCJEA, you will need to determine how to proceed under the laws of your state. It will typically involve filling out an affidavit and petition and filing these documents in the appropriate court.

If you have specific questions, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney in your state who has experience with the UCCJEA.

Home State Determination in Southern California (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, & San Diego County)

The UCCJEA provides four bases to obtain jurisdiction with priority given to the home state. The home state is the state where the child in question lived (either with a parent of a person acting as their parent) for a minimum of six months immediately prior to the action for custody being filed.

A common challenge to a state establishing home state jurisdiction is that the child did not maintain residency in the state for the entire six months. In other words, the party challenging the finding of home state jurisdiction may maintain that the child left the state for a period of time during the six months preceding the filing of the action. In these cases, the court may determine that the time spent away from the state was a “temporary absence,” and if so, is not a valid reason to deny home state jurisdiction.

Other Jurisdictional Bases

Besides the home state, the other three bases the court will consider are:

  1. Significant Connection: If a child and at least one parent have a significant connection to a particular jurisdiction, that jurisdiction may be the issuing state.
  2. More Appropriate Forum: This occurs when the home state and the state with the significant connection decline to exercise jurisdiction in a case as there is yet another state that would be more appropriate.
  3. No Other State: If no state can be considered the home state, or a state with a significant connection, and there is not a more appropriate forum, a state may have jurisdiction under this base.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer for a UCCJEA Petition in Southern California (Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, & San Diego County)

The UCCJEA is a complicated federal act that can be difficult to understand. Hiring a lawyer to help you make sense of it all and determine the proper state of jurisdiction (as well as file your petition) is necessary to be successful.

Contact MKH Accident Attorneys, APC by filling out our online form or by calling us directly at (949) 299-7632. We will schedule a Free Consultation where we will review your family law issues and start resolving problems so that you and your family can move on with your lives accordingly.