Interstate Custody Enforcement

Joint custody and shared parenting time can be fraught with challenges for any divorced parents, but when one parent moves to another state the difficulty of collaborating on important decisions and exchanging children are often magnified. This post discusses a few things that every divorced parent needs to know about interstate enforcement of custody and visitation orders.

Kentucky is one of 49 states to have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, meaning that Kentucky’s laws regarding jurisdiction for the issuance, enforcement, and modification of custody determinations are essentially the same as every other state except for Massachusetts. This is primarily important because KRS 403.846 states that Kentucky Courts have a duty to enforce the custody determinations of other states as long as the other state exercised jurisdiction in substantial conformity with Kentucky’s laws. With all but one state having almost identical laws regarding jurisdiction of custody determinations, that is a relatively easy standard to meet.

However, some Courts may not feel comfortable enforcing another state’s orders even in light of KRS 403.846. In that case, Kentucky law allows for the registration of another state’s custody determination. Registration means that a custody order you have from your divorce in another state is filed with the state of Kentucky and is then enforceable just like any determination initially made in Kentucky. While KRS 403.846 requires Kentucky to enforce many orders from other states, registration can help reduce the likelihood of a jurisdictional challenge to your custody order, and make it easier to enforce your rights as a parent.

The Law Offices of John Schmidt and Associates has extensive experience dealing with interstate custody determinations, and we know how to help you navigate these difficult situations. If you were divorced in another state and have concerns or questions regarding your custody determination or enforcement of your rights since moving to Kentucky, call our office at 502-509-1490.


If you are in Kentucky, then I’d recommend that you call my office at 502-587-1950 or 502-509-1490 to schedule a consultation if you have an agreement, parenting schedule or court order to discuss your options.

Leave a Reply