The UCCJEA in Michigan: Transferring and enforcing an out of state custody determination
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (“UCCJEA in Michigan”) provides that the home state of a child has exclusive and continuing jurisdiction for child custody litigation. So what happens if the home state of the child changes?
For example, if the parents of a child are subject to a custody determination in New York and the child now lives in Michigan, do you have to go to New York to determine issues relating to custody?
The answer is no, provided you properly register the custody determination in the State of Michigan.
Registering a custody determination is governed by the UCCJEA in Michigan which is found in Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.1304 and Michigan Court Rule 3.212.
How to transfer a custody determination from another State to Michigan?
Under the UCCJEA in Michigan (722.1304(1)(a)), the process begins with a letter to the County clerk. The letter should state that you request pursuant to the UCCJEA (MCL 722.1304) that the Court register in the County of [e.g. Oakland County], State of Michigan an [e.g. New York] custody determination which was made by by Judge __________ in the Court in [e.g. New York], bearing case number: _________.
In addition, the UCCJEA in Michigan requires that you provide to the clerk of the court where you are trying to register the out of State custody determination:
- Two (2) copies of the custody determination, one of which is certified. [UCCJEA in Michigan Compiled Laws 722.1304(1)(b)];
- The name and address of the person seeking registration and the name of each parent who has been awarded custody or parenting time. [UCCJEA in Michigan Compiled Laws 722.1304(1)(c)];
- UCCJEA in Michigan Friend of the Court form CC 388 signed by the parent/client.
- UCCJEA in Michigan Friend of the Court form MC 416 signed by the parent/client.
- An Order of Registration of the Child custody determination under the UCCJEA in Michigan. A sample form can be found here:
- An Order confirming the Registration of the Out-of-State Child custody determination under UCCJEA in Michigan which is submitted to the Court and the Judge who is assigned for entry after 21 days, provided there are no objections to the Registration.
- A check in the amount of $__________ to cover the costs of registration of the custody determination under the UCCJEA in Michigan.
Transferring a child custody case from one state to Michigan under the UCCJEA in Michigan requires care about the details. We can help you navigate the process.
Thinking of doing it yourself? It’s complicated, however, the 13th Judicial Court in Michigan has prepared a useful guide on transferring and registering cases involving minor children under the UCCJEA in Michigan. Here is a link to the 13th Circuit Court in Michigan’s guide.
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By: Daniel Findling