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Santa Clara County Child Custody Lawyer Discusses the “Significant Connection” and “Substantial Evidence” Test Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

San Jose Family Attorney

One of the jurisdictional tests under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in order for a California court to hear and make an initial child custody determination is the “significant connection” and “substantial evidence” test. A California court can exercise custody jurisdiction if all of the following are true: (1) No other stated has home state jurisdiction or the home state has declined to exercise its jurisdiction on the ground that California is the more appropriate forum; (2) The child and the child’s parents (or the child and at least one parent or person acting as a parent) has a significant connection with California other than mere physical presence; and (3) Substantial evidence is available in California concerning the child’s care, protection, training and personal relationships.

“Significant connection” jurisdiction is determined by looking at the evidence before the court at the time the jurisdictional determination is made and not by facts or events occurring before or at the time the action is commenced. In order to meet the jurisdictional requirement, there must be substantial forum state contacts between the child, parents and the forum state. The court construes the test narrowly and will balance whether the contacts with California are indeed significant compared against the contacts with the other forum.

If you or someone you know has questions about child custody and visitation or other aspects of family such as the divorce process or child and spousal support, please contact Sagaria Law. Our team of family law attorneys can answer any such questions you may have and assist you through the process. We represent clients from Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Monterey County, San Mateo County, and surrounding areas. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation to speak with one of our attorneys.