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Legal Information: New York

Custody

Updated: 
May 8, 2020

What are the exceptions to the "home state rule"?

In rare cases, you may file for custody in a state where the child and at least one parent have “significant connections” and substantial evidence regarding the child is available in that state.  But as a general rule, you can only do this if there is no home state or if the home state has agreed to let another state have jurisdiction (hear the case).1  The custody process can be complicated.  If you think this information applies to your situation, please talk to a lawyer in both states about this.  To find legal services in NY, go to our NY Finding a Lawyer page.  To find legal services in a state other than New York, go to Finding a Lawyer and select your state from the drop-down menu.

Another exception to the home state rule exists in the case of filing for temporary emergency custody in a state that a parent and child have recently arrived in.  See Can I get temporary emergency custody? for more information.

1 NY Dom Rel § 76(1)