The Second Department determined Family Court’s finding that it did not have jurisdiction (over a visitation petition) under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act was error. But the Second Department went on to determine that New York was an inconvenient forum for the proceeding:
A New York Family Court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination if “(a) this state is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding, or was the home state of the child within six months before the commencement of the proceeding and the child is absent from this state but a parent . . . continues to live in this state” (Domestic Relations Law § 76[a]). ” Home state’ means the state in which a child lived with a parent . . . for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding” (Domestic Relations Law § 75-a).
…”[T]he inquiry is not completed merely by a determination that a jurisdictional predicate exists in the forum State, for then the court must determine whether to exercise its jurisdiction” … . A court of this state which has jurisdiction under the UCCJEA may decline to exercise it if it finds, upon consideration of certain enumerated factors, that New York is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum (see Domestic Relations Law § 76-f;…). While the Family Court did not consider the enumerated factors, the record is sufficient to permit this Court to consider and evaluate those factors…
…[T]he “evidence regarding [the children’s] care, well-being, and personal relationships is more readily available” in Georgia… Under these circumstances, Georgia is the more appropriate and convenient forum … . Matter of Balde v Barry, 2013 NY slip Op 05204, 2nd Dept 7-10-13