Interstate Jurisdiction Child Custody In California

Generally, questions of interstate jurisdiction regarding child custody are settled in California under the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act ( Fam. Code, 3400 et seq.; hereafter UCCJA). ( Wallace v. Superior Court (1993) 15 Cal. App. 4th 1182, 1184 [19 Cal. Rptr. 2d 157].) It was adopted in California in 1973 and has now been adopted by every state and the District of Columbia ( id. at p. 1186), including Michigan ( Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. 600.651 et seq.). In some instances, questions of jurisdiction are settled by the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (28 U.S.C.A. 1738A; hereafter PKPA), which preempts the UCCJA to the extent they may conflict. ( Wallace v. Superior Court, supra, 15 Cal. App. 4th at pp.1186-1187.) No issue requiring a resolution under the PKPA is raised here. A finding that California or another state has jurisdiction under the UCCJA is reviewed for substantial evidence. ( In re Marriage of Fox (1986) 180 Cal. App. 3d 862, 869 [225 Cal. Rptr. 823].) The same standard of review applies to a finding that California lacks jurisdiction following a resolution of conflicting evidence. ( Id. at p. 870.) By contrast, a determination that California lacks jurisdiction when the dispositive facts are uncontested is reviewed for abuse of discretion. ( Id. at pp. 869-870.) Under the UCCJA, as enacted in California, the only pertinent bases of jurisdiction in the present case are as follows: "(1) This state (A) is the home state of the child at the time of commencement of the proceeding, or (B) had been the child's home state within six months before commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state because of removal or retention by a person claiming custody of the child or for other reasons, and a parent or person acting as parent continues to live in this state. (2) It is in the best interest of the child that a court of this state assume jurisdiction because (A) the child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one contestant, have a significant connection with this state, and (B) there is available in this state substantial evidence concerning the child's present or future care, protection, training, and personal relationships." ( Fam. Code, 3403, subd. (a)(1) & (2).) Michigan has enacted substantially similar provisions. ( Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. 600.653(a), (b).)