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Self drafting declaration for UCCJEA court conference

Arlington, WA |

The courts in CA and WA are to confer on the issue of jurisdiction. There was an initial child custody plan filed in CA over 5 years ago which I understand would give CA continuing jurisdiction, I have not lived in CA for many years, and my ex had moved out for 3 years right after we settled our case. He moved back 2 years ago and is now wanting court down there. Now in evaluating the home state section my son has resided with me in WA for over 11 months in fact most of the last 5 years have been spent here. We have significant connection here as well as substantial evidence. I am drafting my declaration under the inconvenient forum, but also feel that WA should qualify as home state. How much detail do I need to put? other points to make?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Focus on RCW 26.27.211 (CA will have a similar statute). It is online here:

Since it entered the initial parenting plan, CA will have jurisdiction UNLESS its judge (during the teleconference with WA’s judge) determines that (1)(a) or (b) apply. 1(b) clearly doesn’t, since one parent presently does reside in CA. I believe that 1(a) isn’t met either, because it requires BOTH that there is no longer substantial evidence in CA about the child, and that the child’s parents do not have a significant connection with CA. The other parent clearly does have a significant connection.

Home state is trumped by exclusive continuing jurisdiction. So CA will retain jurisdiction UNLESS the CA judge declines jurisdiction in favor of WA. That’s where your reference to “inconvenient forum” comes in, since that is the topic covered in RCW 26.27.261 (online here: )

Focus on each of the factors in 26.27.261(2)(a-h), and provide concrete details (and supporting documentation, if possible.) It can mean the difference between being effectively able to present your case in court.

If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. This is for general information purposes only, and not as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. No information disclosed in these questions and opinions will prohibit this lawyer from representing a different client in the matter.



Just thought I would drop a line to let you know what I found in CA's rendition of exclusive continuing jurisdiction. 3422(1) A court of this state determines that neither the child, nor the child and one parent, nor the child and a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this state and that substantial evidence is no longer available in this state concerning the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships. I find it interesting after having fully dissected the WA version of the UCCJEA to see how many little differences the CA has. They may be small but I am hoping that they are enough to carry me through. Just wanted to say thanks for the tip. :)


If you are going to be representing yourself, there 's no way to advise you without examining all of the court files in both CA. and Wa. To do otherwise would and proffer advice would violate due diligence. Please make an appointment with a family law attorney to discuss your case.

The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.


I am going to make a few assumptions from your post. 1) It looks like you have a custody plan filed in CA 5 years ago. 2) One parent currently resides in CA and one in WA. 3) Child resides in WA. Here is what I think: a. You need CA attorney advise; b. CA has continuing and exclusive jurisdiction; c. There might be reasons that WA is more convenient forum - you would have to consult with CA att to see how to make that pitch to a CA court; d. I did not see a basis for emergency jurisdiction in WA while you were sorting it out; e. Home state rule does not apply having an initial determination already take place 5 years ago; f. YOu may ask CA att if a modification of sort is appropriate based on the conduct of both parties in last 5 years. Good luck.

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