In a child custody and visitation case, a court of this state may not exercise its jurisdiction if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child has been commenced in a court of another state which obtained jurisdiction under requirements that are substantially in conformity with the jurisdictional requirements of the UCCJEA. In Billie v. Stier the Florida Court of Appeal recently stated: “Under the UCCJEA the Miccosukee Tribe is treated as a state in the United States. Section 61.519, Florida Statutes (2012), covers situations where there are simultaneous custody proceedings in this state and in another state. That statute provides that ‘a court of this state may not exercise its jurisdiction under ss. 61.514-61.524 if, at the time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody of the child had been commenced in a court of another state having jurisdiction substantially in conformity with this part.’ § 61.519(1), Fla. Stat. (emphasis added).
Additionally, § 61.505, Florida Statutes (2012), states that a custody determination pertaining to an Indian child made by a tribal court must be recognized by Florida if the determination was ‘made by the tribe under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with jurisdictional standards of [the UCCJEA].’ § 61.505, Fla. Stat. (emphasis added). Under those sections, if the Tribal Court in this case had substantially complied with the requirements of the UCCJEA, it would have jurisdiction and not the court of the State of Honda.
Substantial conformity is not defined in the statutes, but several cases have construed the term. In Izmery v. Izmery, 559 So. 2d 1211 (Ha. 3d DCA 1990), this court stated that the foreign court was required to afford the party an effective opportunity to be heard. In Karam v. Karam, 6 So. 3d 87 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009), this court determined that a French court did not satisfy the requirement of substantial compliance because ‘the UCCJEA focuses on where the children were living prior to the filing’ and the French court had determined only the “usual and permanent center of interest.” See also Markle v. Markle, No. 266341,2007 WL 2317372, at 4 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 14, 2007) (finding Michigan court was not required to give full faith and credit to Texas protective order which was not entered in compliance with the UCCJEA’s requirements for emergency orders).”
To speak with a divorce attorney in Boynton Beach, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.