There are several ways for this issue to arise. As a common (over simplified) example: Mom lives in New York and has an order of physical custody for the children. Dad resides in another state and pursuant to the same order, has a schedule of parenting time. The custody and parenting time order was issued by a court in the state where Dad lives. Now, Dad wants to change the order to get more time with the children. Which court does he go to – the court that issued the order, or to a court in New York, where the children live?
This issue is governed by a specific section of the Domestic Relations Law known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Most states in the country have adopted in their own laws some version of the UCCJEA in order to stream line cooperation among states when jurisdictional issues arise.
A specific type of petition is required in a UCCJEA case. It is very important in a multi-State case to understand the complex issues of jurisdiction that are involved, and to proceed with the proper legal paperwork in the correct state.