– from Jack D. in Greenfield, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I filed for divorce and custody in New Hampshire 11 months ago. In New Hampshire, the court granted custody to me. We filed again in Wisconsin and the court granted custody to the mother. The judge said the court did not have jurisdiction over the child custody dispute and cannot use the past decision. Is this accurate, or can a new state allow a past decision to stand?

Family Law Attorney Response:

More details are necessary for me to give a definitive answer regarding this question. However, the court has previous experiences with custody situations like yours.

In the case of Colby v. Colby, 102 Wis. 2d 198, 306 N.W.2d 57 (1981), the Supreme Court of Arizona ruled state courts have the ability to look at other decisions from different states when the case involved is related to both. The current state has the ability and discretion to rely on the decision from the past state if it seems a reasonable judge would come to that conclusion.

Learn more on the basics of child custody.

The details further needed regard your current filing and any new information since your last filing for divorce, as these are critical pieces to finding an answer. Give me a call so we can talk all of this over.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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