The trial court erred as a matter of law when it ordered that Colorado must enforce the New York Supreme Court child custody modification determination and that mother must transfer custody of the children to father. The New York Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction, under New York law, to enter child custody modification determination because the family court referee previously determined that New York lacked exclusive, continuing jurisdiction over the initial child custody determination, and therefore, because the Supreme Court did not exercise jurisdiction in compliance with its own law, it did not exercise jurisdiction consistent with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), and, consequently, Colorado was not obligated to accord the New York Supreme Court custody modification order full faith and credit.
Laura Morgan is a Family Law Consultant. Laura is available for consultation, brief writing and research on family law issues throughout the country. She can be reached through her website. www.famlawconsult.com