Emergency Child Custody When Arizona Lacks Jurisdiction
There are some important exceptions built into the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in emergency situations.
If a custody case involves an emergency situation that places a child in imminent danger of harm, such a child being abandoned or abused, a court in Arizona that otherwise lacks jurisdiction to enter a child custody order may still enter an emergency temporary child custody order to protect a child.
However, in order to protect against more than one state court exercising child custody jurisdiction, the emergency orders are always temporary.
The UCCJEA makes it clear that emergency temporary orders are only allowed to be issued by a state court judge who otherwise lacks jurisdiction over the child custody issues on a temporary basis until such time the parents can address those issues in the state that actually has jurisdiction over the child custody issues.
For example, if the parents and child live in California but are on vacation in Arizona and an emergency arises, the Arizona court may issue an emergency temporary child custody order for only as much time as it would reasonably take for the parents to return to California to address the child custody issues since California is the only court that would have jurisdiction over child custody issues.
When a parent returns to their home state, either parent may then file a child custody action to modify the child custody order issued in the state that lacked jurisdiction over the child custody issues but issued the emergency child custody order.
Also, the court that issued the emergency child custody order must notify the court that has jurisdiction over the child custody issues of the issuance of the emergency temporary child custody order.
Arizona Court of Appeals Decision on Emergency Child Custody Jurisdiction in Arizona
Sometimes an Arizona court is asked to make changes in a child custody order that was issued in another state. In order to be sure that custody laws are applied consistently, most states – including Arizona — have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act that provides rules for interstate child custody cases.
In the case of Melgar v. Campo, 161 P.3d 1269 (Ariz. Ct. App. 2007), the Arizona Court of Appeals discussed the procedure an Arizona divorce court must follow when it is asked to change a North Carolina child custody order.
Lilliana Campo and Rafael Melgar, an unmarried couple, had a child together in North Carolina. The relationship fell apart and Lilliana left the state with the child. Rafael went to family court in North Carolina to seek custody of the child. Lilliana did not appear but sent a letter to the court alleging domestic abuse. The court awarded Rafael custody.
Rafael located Lilliana and their child in Arizona and filed suit there, asking the court to enforce the order giving him custody. Because Lilliana made allegations of child abuse, the Arizona court determined that it had the authority to act on an emergency basis.
It held a hearing and changed the custody order to give the mother sole custody. Rafael appealed. One important aim of the Uniform Custody Act is to prevent states from issuing competing custody orders. To achieve this end, the Uniform Act says that the court making the initial custody ruling has sole authority to change its order in the future unless it gives up that authority, or both parents move out of that state. This is called continuing and exclusive child custody jurisdiction.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act in Arizona
Jurisdiction means that the court has the right to rule on a particular action between parties. In the Melgar/Campo case, the North Carolina court made the initial custody ruling. No evidence suggested that the North Carolina court gave up jurisdiction, and – although Lilliana moved to Arizona – Rafael still lived in North Carolina.
That meant that the North Carolina court had continuing jurisdiction. Arizona Could Only Issue an Emergency Order If one state court has jurisdiction of a custody case, under the terms of the Uniform Custody Act, another state can only exercise emergency jurisdiction.
That means that the courts of another state can only step in and modify the custody ruling if a child or a parent is in danger, and then only on a temporary basis. “If a case involves emergency situations, courts are authorized to enter temporary custody orders to protect children when the child, his or her parent, or a sibling is at risk. Emergency jurisdiction and the accompanying orders, however, are a temporary exception to the exclusive, continuing jurisdiction of the issuing court.”
In the Meglar/Campo case, the Arizona court determined that Lilliana or the child was at risk and entered an emergency order giving the mother sole custody. To that extent, it acted within its proper emergency powers. However, the court did not intend this as a temporary measure allowing Lilliana to return back to North Carolina and ask that court for a modification of the custody order.
Rather, the Arizona court went on to “modify” the original custody order to give permanent custody to Lilliana. This was contrary to the terms of the Uniform Custody Act, and, in fact, set up the “dueling” custody orders the Act was intended to prevent. The Court of Appeals reversed, and sent the matter back to the lower court for further proceedings.
If you have questions about emergency child custody when Arizona lacks jurisdiction, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona child custody and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in child custody and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your Arizona child custody or family law case around today.
More Articles About Child Custody in Arizona
- ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY LAWS
- DIVORCE AND GRANDPARENTS VISITATION RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- CHANGING A CHILD’S LAST NAME IN ARIZONA
- PARENT INFORMATION PROGRAM CLASS IN ARIZONA
- GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- MOVING CHILDREN MANY TIMES IN ARIZONA
- PARENTAL ALIENATION IN ARIZONA
- JOINT CUSTODY AND SCHOOL DECISIONS IN ARIZONA
- DO COURTS FAVOR MOTHERS IN CUSTODY BATTLES IN ARIZONA
- ENFORCE VISITATION NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT IN ARIZONA
- DELEGATION OF CHILD CUSTODY DECISIONS TO AN EXPERT IN ARIZONA
- PRESUMPTION OF EQUAL PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO GET SOLE CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO ENFORCE PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- CO-PARENTING AFTER DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO CHANGE A CHILD’S LAST NAME IN ARIZONA
- GETTING EMERGENCY CHILD CUSTODY ORDERS IN ARIZONA
- HOW DO YOU MODIFY VISITATION OR PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- WHAT VISITATION OR PARENTING TIME SCHEDULES DO JUDGES ORDER IN ARIZONA
- WHAT IS A CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATION IN ARIZONA
- PREPARE FOR A CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATION IN ARIZONA
- CAN A GRANDPARENT OR STEPPARENT BE AWARDED CUSTODY OF A CHILD IN AZ
- CONTESTING RELOCATION OF A CHILD WHEN YOU DO NOT LIVE IN ARIZONA
- WHO HAS CUSTODY OF CHILDREN WHEN A DIVORCE IS FILED IN ARIZONA
- WHAT ARE THE CHILD CUSTODY FACTORS IN ARIZONA
- WHAT IT JOINT LEGAL CUSTODY OR JOINT DECISION MAKING IN ARIZONA
- ARE MOTHERS FAVORED CHILD CUSTODY CASES IN ARIZONA
- WHAT IS A PARENTING COORDINATOR IN AN ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY CASE
- CAN A PARENT WITH SOLE CUSTODY LIMIT ACCESS TO A CHILD’S MEDICAL RECORDS IN ARIZONA
- WHAT HAPPENS IF A PARENT WANTS TO MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- PARENTING TIME AFTER LOSING AN ORDER OF PROTECTION HEARING IN ARIZONA
- WHO IS THE BEST CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER IN ARIZONA
- ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY STATUTES
- ARIZONA UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT STATUTES
- TEMPORARY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- ADOPTION ATTORNEYS IN ARIZONA
- RESTRICTIONS IN ARIZONA ON TAKING CHILDREN TO ANOTHER COUNTRY
- WITHHOLDING CHILD FROM CUSTODIAL PARENT IN ARIZONA
- AFFIDAVIT IN A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- BEST INTEREST ATTORNEY IN ARIZONA
- LATE OBJECTION TO CHILD RELOCATION NOTICE IN ARIZONA
- RAISING ALLEGATIONS THAT WERE RAISED IN A PRIOR ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY CASE
- TEMPORARY VISITATION ORDER FOR GRANDPARENTS IN ARIZONA
- WHEN THE CHILD RELOCATION STATUTE DOES NOT APPLY IN ARIZONA
- SIGNIFICANT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SOLE CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO CHOOSE A GUARDIAN FOR YOUR CHILD IN ARIZONA
- MULTI-STATE CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION IN ARIZONA
- SCHOOL CHOICE CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- TEMPORARY ORDERS FOR GRANDPARENTS VISITATION IN ARIZONA
- CAN A STEPPARENT BE HELD IN CONTEMPT IN ARIZONA
- UNAUTHORIZED RELOCATION OF CHILDREN IN ARIZONA
- GRANDPARENTS CANNOT PREVENT CHILD RELOCATION IN ARIZONA
- WHEN ARIZONA CHILD RELOCATION STATUTE IN ARIZONA DOES NOT APPLY
- ARIZONA CHILD RELOCATION LAWS
- INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION IN ARIZONA
- UCCJEA CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION IN ARIZONA
- MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES IN ARIZONA
- FAILING TO ALLEGE CHANGED CIRCUMSTANCES TO MODIFY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE IN A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- CHILD CUSTODY AND NARCISSISTIC A PARENT IN ARIZONA
- CHANGE CIRCUMSTANCES TO CHANGE CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- EFFECT OF MUTUAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- PARENTING TIME WITH A NON-BIOLOGICAL CHILD IN ARIZONA
- DENIAL OF MORE TIME IN CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- WHEN A CHILD CUSTODY HEARING IS REQUIRED IN ARIZONA
- HOSTILITY BASIS TO MODIFY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- MEANING OF HOME STATE IN ARIZONA
- USE OF THE UCCJEA IN DEPENDENCY CASES IN ARIZONA
- EFFECT OF DENIAL OF VISITATION ON CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS IN ARIZONA
- CUSTODY DECISIONS CANNOT BE DELEGATED TO AN EXPERT
- THIRD-PARTY AND EMERGENCY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- STEPPARENT IN LOCO PARENTIS CHILD VISITATION IN ARIZONA
- STEPPARENTS CANNOT OBTAIN CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- BEST INTEREST STANDARD FOR THIRD-PARTY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- TEMPORARY CHILD CUSTODY IN AN ARIZONA DIVORCE DECREE
- MODIFICATION OF CUSTODY AND CHILD ABDUCTION IN ARIZONA
- VISITATION RIGHTS AND IN LOCO PARENTIS STANDING IN ARIZONA
- HOW DIVORCE AFFECTS CHILDREN IN ARIZONA
- PARENTING PLANS COURTS USE IN ARIZONA
- PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM A HOSTILE PARENT IN ARIZONA
- SUITABLE NOTICE FOR CHILD CUSTODY HEARING IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO DEAL WITH A HOSTILE PARENT IN ARIZONA
- JURISDICTION OVER CHILD RESIDING OUTSIDE ARIZONA
- HABEAS CORPUS IN AN ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY CASE
- NOTICE OF HEARING IN AN ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY CASE
- STANDARD OF CARE TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE IN ARIZONA
- APPEALING DEPENDENCY ORDERS IN ARIZONA
- MODIFICATION OF PARENTING TIME CHANGE WHEN KIDS CHANGE SCHOOLS
- STANDARD FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- A MINOR’S RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- CAN THE COURT APPOINT A GUARDIAN FOR A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- EXCLUDING TESTIMONY IN A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- SUPERVISED PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- JURISDICTION FOR A DEPENDENCY CASE IN ARIZONA
- CHANGING A CHILD’S LAST NAME IN ARIZONA
- SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- JURISDICTION TO PETITION FOR VISITATION IN ARIZONA
- NO ALCOHOL DURING PARENTING TIME IN ARIZONA
- FAILING TO APPEAR FOR CHILD CUSTODY HEARING IN ARIZONA
- ONE SPOUSE ADOPTS A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- BASICS OF CHILD ABUSE IN ARIZONA
- CHILD ABUSE AND CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- FATHERS RIGHTS IN ARIZONA
- PREPARE FOR A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- CO-PARENTING WITH YOUR EX IN ARIZONA
- PETITION TO MODIFY CHILD SUPPORT AND SOLE CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- DUE PROCESS IN A CHILD CUSTODY HEARING IN ARIZONA
- SOLE LEGAL CUSTODY OVER MEDICAL DECISIONS FOR A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- THIRD-PARTY VISITATION WITH A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL IN ARIZONA
- FINAL DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY OVER A CHILD IN ARIZONA
- CAN A BEST INTEREST ATTORNEY TESTIFY AT TRIAL IN ARIZONA
- MODIFY A SUPERVISED VISITATION ORDER IN ARIZONA
- CALCULATING DISTANCE FOR A CHILD RELOCATION IN ARIZONA
- DISMISSING PETITION TO MODIFY CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA
- WHAT IS A THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONIST IN ARIZONA
- WHAT HAPPENS TO EMBRYOS IN A DIVORCE IN ARIZONA
- CHANGE CHILD CUSTODY IN ARIZONA WHEN PARENT MOVES AWAY
- IMPORTANCE OF MEDIATING A CHILD CUSTODY CASE IN ARIZONA
- CHILD CUSTODY AND CRIMINAL RECORDS IN ARIZONA
- HOW TO PREPARE FOR A CHILD CUSTODY HEARING IN ARIZONA
- WHEN FINDINGS OF FACT ARE NOT REQUIRED AFTER A CHILD CUSTODY TRIAL IN ARIZONA
- COURT APPOINTED CHILD THERAPIST IN ARIZONA
- HOME STATE CUSTODY JURISDICTION WHEN CHILD RELOCATED TO ARIZONA
- CAN VISITATION WITH A CHILD BE REDUCED WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE IN ARIZONA
- CHILDREN WITNESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN ARIZONA
- CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES FOR A CHILD CUSTODY MODIFICATION IN ARIZONA
- HEARING TO DECLINE CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION IN ARIZONA
- CUSTODY OF A CHILD IN AN ARIZONA DEPENDENCY CASE
- LATE DISCLOSURE IN AZ CHILD CUSTODY CASE
- HOW TO REGISTER A CHILD CUSTODY ORDER IN ARIZONA
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PRESUMPTION IN ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY CASES
- EFFECT OF CORONAVIRUS ON CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION ORDERS
SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY!PLEASE COMPLETE OUR NEW CLIENT INTAKE FORM TO SCHEDULE YOUR CONSULTATION TODAY!
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about an emergency child custody order when Arizona lacks jurisdiction over child custody decisions to ensure everyone has access to information about child custody laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a child custody case should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.