Child Custody Based on Significant Connection Jurisdiction

In In re Marriage of Arnold & Cully (1990) 222 Cal. App. 3d 499 [271 Cal. Rptr. 624] the court concluded that a child had the requisite significant connection solely with Canada, reasoning that although the noncustodial parent resided in California and the child had visited California for 18 days, the child was born and raised in Canada and she had lived exclusively in Canada, with the exception of short visits to California. Under Arnold, California, but not Michigan, has "significant connection" jurisdiction. Because the central facts here are undisputed, substantial evidence does not support the family court's finding that Michigan has custodial jurisdiction, and it abused its discretion in determining that California lacked such jurisdiction. Michigan law appears to dictate the same result. In Dean v. Dean (1984) 133 Mich.App. 220 [348 N.W.2d 725], a married couple's two children were born and resided primarily in Michigan until their parents moved to Texas. (348 N.W.2d at p. 726.) The couple separated, and the children and their mother returned to Michigan, where they lived for approximately two years, with the exception of a month-long visit with their father in Texas. (Ibid.) After the parties initiated divorce actions in their respective states of residence, a Texas court awarded the father custody of the children. (Ibid.) The court in Dean concluded that under these facts, the children lacked a significant connection with Texas under the UCCJA. (348 N.W.2d at p. 727.)