“Home State” Requires Six Months of Physical Presence Under the UCCJEA

“The child’s physical location is the central factor to be considered when determining the home state,” said the First Court of Appeals in In re Walker, No. 01-13-00922-CV (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] Jan. 23, 2014, orig. proceeding). Accordingly, a trial court had no jurisdiction over a child when the child had moved to Texas from Georgia on July 25, 2012, and the child’s father filed a SAPCR in Texas on November 27, 2012, only four months later. The court rejected the father’s claim that the child became a Texas resident on May 25, 2012, because the father had come to Texas with the child on May 25, 2012, with the intent to move to Texas. The father’s intent was irrelevant to the child’s physical location: The child had returned to Georgia in late May and lived there until July 25. Therefore, the child had not resided in Texas for the requisite six months.

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