Who has jurisdiction over my child custody issues if both parents are Tribal members?
- Child Custody
- State: MT #3290
I am an enrolled Tribal member with a child enrolled in another Tribe. I am looking to set up a parenting plan with his father, also a Tribal member. The child resides and attends school on my Reservation and learns Native cultural tradition from my Tribe. Where does the child custody jurisdiction fall? My Tribe offers free mediation.
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 is a federal law that protects Indian children and preserves the integrity of Indian tribes by restricting state courts'powers to place Indian children in nonparental custody, whether the placement isvoluntary or involuntary on the part of the parents.
The ICWA was enacted to stem the high rate of removal of Indian children from their families and their placement in non-Indian foster care, adoptive homes, andinstitutions. The ICWA does not apply to custody in a divorce proceeding or to the placement of a juvenile for an act that, if committed by an adult, would be a crime. The purpose of the ICWA is to protect Indian children and to promote the stabilityand security of Indian tribes and families.
If the Indian child resides on a reservation, the tribal court on that reservation has jurisdiction. If the Indian child resides off the reservation, the state court shall, upon petition by either parent, the Indian custodian, or the Indian tribe, transfer the case to the tribal court. The state court may retain jurisdiction if either parent objects to the transfer, if the state court finds good cause for retaining jurisdiction, or if the tribal court declines the transfer. If the state court retains jurisdiction, the Indian custodian and the Indian tribe have the right to intervene in thecourt proceeding at any point.
Please see the information at the following links:
Please see the forms at the following links:
04/24/2007 - Category: Child Custody - State: MT #3290
See more Questions in the Child Custody Category