While the UCCJEA helps determine which court should hear a custody case, it does not decide how the court should decide the case. The legislation sets forth four different jurisdictional bases for courts:
- 1. Home State: California prioritizes home state jurisdiction, which is a child’s home or the state where the child lived six months before the case began.
- 2. Significant Connection: A state has “significant connection” jurisdiction if the child and at least one parent have a significant connection with the state, with evidence related to the child’s personal relationships, care, training, or protection in that state.
- 3. More Appropriate Forum: This jurisdiction exists if both the home state and a state with a significant connection have declined jurisdiction because there is a state that is a more appropriate forum.
- 4. No Other State Jurisdiction: This jurisdiction exists if there is no home state, significant connection state, or more appropriate forum.
If you are facing a child custody dispute and are concerned that California’s UCCJEA may apply, you should contact your attorney as soon as possible. Jurisdictional issues related to custody orders require experienced family law attorneys.