2020 Georgia Code
Title 19 - Domestic Relations
Chapter 9 - Child Custody Proceedings
Article 3 - Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
Part 1 - General Provisions
§ 19-9-44. Child Custody Determinations of Foreign Country

Universal Citation: GA Code § 19-9-44 (2020)
  1. A court of this state shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States for the purpose of applying this part and Part 2 of this article.
  2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a child custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this article must be recognized and enforced under Part 3 of this article.
  3. A court of this state need not apply this article if the child custody law of a foreign country violates fundamental principles of human rights.

(Code 1981, §19-9-44, enacted by Ga. L. 2001, p. 129, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of domestic relations law, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 221 (2004).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, annotations decided under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, former Code 1933, §§ 74-501 through 74-525, subsequently codified as §§ 19-9-40 through19-9-64, are included in the annotations for this Code section.

No jurisdiction over person residing in foreign country.

- Former Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act cannot be the basis for jurisdiction over person residing in foreign country. Binns v. Smith, 251 Ga. 861, 310 S.E.2d 225 (1984) (decided under former Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act).

No jurisdiction over Turkish-born child who lived in Georgia for days.

- In a child custody dispute in which a mother and child had lived in Georgia for 22 days before traveling to Turkey, and a Turkish court had awarded the mother custody, a Georgia court erred in asserting jurisdiction because Georgia was not the child's home state, and the Turkey action was commenced first and in compliance with UCCJEA requirements. Gorelik v. Gorelik, 346 Ga. App. 786, 815 S.E.2d 330 (2018), cert. denied, No. S18C1536, 2019 Ga. LEXIS 165 (Ga. 2019).

Georgia trial court had jurisdiction.

- Trial court erred in dismissing a husband's divorce complaint on the ground that jurisdiction was properly with the Italian court because the trial court had jurisdiction to make the initial custody determination under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), O.C.G.A. § 19-9-40 et seq., specifically O.C.G.A. § 19-9-61(a) and (b), and no other court did since Georgia was the only state, including Italy, that could qualify as the "home state" of the parties' child pursuant to the UCCJEA, specifically O.C.G.A. § 19-9-41(7), at the time either the Italian custody proceeding or the Georgia proceeding was commenced and at the time the trial court entered the court's initial child custody order; under the UCCJEA, the jurisdictional inquiry entered into by the Italian court was insufficient because the Italian court undertook no analysis of the home state of the child or of any other factors that could be considered a substitute for such but simply found that the prerequisites for jurisdiction over a divorce action were met. Bellew v. Larese, 288 Ga. 495, 706 S.E.2d 78 (2011).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Applicability and application of Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to international child custody and support actions, 66 A.L.R.6th 269.

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