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UCCJEA – Uniform Child Custody Jurisdictional Enforcement Act

Mother and Father were married in Arizona and moved to Montana while she was pregnant with their first and only child (for both of them). After Wife gave birth prematurely, she left Montana and absconded to Arizona with their newborn son. Mother then notified Father that she would not be returning to Montana and he immediately filed for divorce and custody in Montana. Mother then filed for divorce and custody in Arizona. Father retained us to assist him in getting Mother’s Arizona divorce Petition dismissed. We filed a limited scope appearance on Father’s behalf and submitted a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Lack of In Personam Jurisdiction and Lack of Initial Child Custody Jurisdiction. Upon learning of the simultaneous proceedings in both states, an oral argument was set between the Arizona Judge and both Arizona lawyers and the Montana Judge and both Montana lawyers. During this hearing, all four attorneys were allowed to argue their case. We, argued that Mother’s Arizona divorce Petition must be dismissed per Arizona law, which was cited in detail in my Motion to Dismiss. The Judges then conferred in chambers and issued a written Ruling several weeks later: In the Judge’s 9 Page Ruling, our Motion to Dismiss was granted! In fact, in his Ruling, the Judge utilized the exact same cases and exact same language that we cited in our Motion and argued on the record at the hearing. The client, a physician, was ecstatic! Then, after not seeing his newborn baby for 4 months, he traveled out to Arizona for a visit.

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