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Legal Information: Delaware


Laws current as of March 26, 2024

Are there exceptions to the “home state” rule?

Yes. In some cases, you can file for custody in a state where the children and at least one parent have “significant connections.” Usually, however, you can only do this if there is no home state or if the home state has agreed to let another state have jurisdiction. This can be complicated, and if you think this applies to your situation, please talk to a lawyer in both states about this. To find help through a lawyer or domestic violence advocaite, please click on the DE Places that Help tab at the top of this page.

You can also file for temporary emergency custody in a state other than the home state if the child is present in the state AND:

  • the child has been abandoned or;
  • it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.1

1 13 Del C. § 1920; 13 Del. C. § 1923