(1)  Except as otherwise provided in Section 78B-13-204 or by other law of this state, if a court of this state has jurisdiction under this chapter because a person invoking the jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless:

Terms Used In Utah Code 78B-13-208

  • Child: means an individual under 18 years of age and not married. See Utah Code 78B-13-102
  • Child custody proceeding: means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, or parent-time with respect to a child is an issue. See Utah Code 78B-13-102
  • Court: means an entity authorized under the law of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination. See Utah Code 78B-13-102
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Person: includes government, governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality, or any other legal or commercial entity. See Utah Code 78B-13-102
  • State: means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. See Utah Code 78B-13-102
(a)  the parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the exercise of jurisdiction;

(b)  a court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under Sections 78B-13-201 through 78B-13-203 determines that this state is a more appropriate forum under Section 78B-13-207; or

(c)  no other state would have jurisdiction under Sections 78B-13-201 through 78B-13-203.

(2)  If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to Subsection (1), it may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a repetition of the wrongful conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under Sections 78B-13-201 through 78B-13-203.

(3)  If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to exercise its jurisdiction pursuant to Subsection (1), it shall charge the party invoking the jurisdiction of the court with necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, communication expenses, attorney fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, travel expenses, and child care during the course of the proceedings, unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the award would be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against this state except as otherwise provided by law other than this chapter.

Renumbered and Amended by Chapter 3, 2008 General Session