Does The Child Need To Be Physically Present In Utah To Exercise Jurisdiction?

If Utah is exercising emergency jurisdiction and a different state has “original” or ongoing jurisdiction in the child custody matter, then yes, the child needs to be physically present in Utah for emergency jurisdiction to be exercised. However, if Utah was the state where the original custody determination was made and it has not changed jurisdiction or if jurisdiction has been changed to Utah from another state, then Utah would continue to have jurisdiction over the child even if the child moves away from Utah, unless and until jurisdiction has changed to a different state formally.

Can One State Exercise Temporary Emergency Jurisdiction Over Children Even If Another State Has Original Jurisdiction In The Custody Matter?

Yes, one state can exercise temporary emergency jurisdiction over children even if another state has original jurisdiction in the custody matter.

In some circumstances, the UCCJEA allows a different state to enter orders regarding custody or protection of the child due to abuse, neglect or threatened harm or mistreatment of a child or a sibling of the child or a parent of the child. Thus, the perpetrator has committed domestic violence against their spouse and the domestic violence in and of itself may be enough to allow a different state to exercise temporary emergency jurisdiction to enter protective custody or other orders.

Also, if there has not been an original child custody determination in another state, emergency jurisdiction can also be exercised. The typical circumstance where emergency jurisdiction is exercised would be protective orders and restraining orders giving a parent temporary custody, adult protective orders or child protective orders and restraining orders, abuse or neglect petitions in juvenile court, etc.

Emergency jurisdiction is only exercised on a temporary basis and usually is set to expire within a matter of months. If a court exercises temporary emergency jurisdiction to, for example, grant a protective order giving custody to the other parent, that temporary order of custody will generally expire fairly quickly and is only buying time for the parent who obtained the protective order to go back to the state with the original jurisdiction and change the custody or visitation arrangement on a more permanent basis, or to get jurisdiction changed to their state.

For more information on Physical Presence For Jurisdiction In Utah, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 616-3301 today.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children