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Legal Statutes: New Jersey

UPDATED February 3, 2016

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Article 8. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

back to top2A:34-65. Initial child custody jurisdiction

a. Except as otherwise provided in section 16 of this act [FN1], or section 1 of P.L.2013, c. 7 (C.9:2-12.1) concerning a service member's absence due to a deployment or service-related treatment as set forth in that section, a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination only if:

(1) this State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this State but a parent or person acting as a parent continues to live in this State;

(2) a court of another state does not have jurisdiction under paragraph (1) of this subsection, or a court of the home state of the child has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that this State is the more appropriate forum under section 19 or 20 of this act [FN2] and:

(a) the child and the child's parents, or the child and at least one parent or a person acting as a parent have a significant connection with this State other than mere physical presence; and

(b) substantial evidence is available in this State concerning the child's care, protection, training and personal relationships;

(3) all courts having jurisdiction under paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection have declined to exercise jurisdiction on the ground that a court of this State is the more appropriate forum to determine the custody of the child under section 19 or 20 of this act; or

(4) no state would have jurisdiction under paragraph (1), (2) or (3) of this subsection.

b. Subsection a. of this section is the exclusive jurisdictional basis for making a child custody determination by a court of this State.

c. Physical presence of, or personal jurisdiction over, a party or a child is neither necessary nor sufficient to make a child custody determination.

d. A court of this State may assume temporary emergency jurisdiction in accordance with section 16 of this act.
L.2004, c. 147, § 13, eff. Dec. 13, 2004. Amended by L.2013, c. 7, § 2, eff. March 26, 2013.