Divorce – Husband – Jurisdiction Issue
Client’s Situation: Wife moved to another state with the parties’ two children. She did not consult Husband or obtain his approval to take the children with her; however, Husband did not object. The parties lived in separate states for approximately six months and then Husband filed for divorce in Minnesota. Wife filed a petition for custody in the other state. The Minnesota court had to decide whether it had jurisdiction over child custody under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which says that if the children reside in a state for six months, that state has jurisdiction to determine custody, unless it is a temporary absence from the children’s “home” state.
Allison’s Approach: Submitted a very detailed affidavit to the court in which Husband explained that the children had only been temporarily absent from Minnesota and that Minnesota was the state in which the bulk of the information about the children was located (more convenient forum).
Result: Minnesota retained jurisdiction to determine child custody.