Foreign proceedings not proved to be in substantial conformity to the UCCJEA not entitled to be registered – published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

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Qaisi v. Alaeddin

Family Court declined to recognize three legal documents from courts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The three documents are as follows: (1) a divorce certificate, (2) a document memorializing an agreement between the parties whereby “[t]he custody of the children…shall be proved for the second party [Qaisi]” (the document did not explain the precise meaning of custody being “proved for” Qaisi nor did the parties cite Dubai authority to explain the phrase) and (3) an amended agreement between the parties whereby the children were designated to live with Qaisi while Alaeddin “shall not claim custody until the sons reach the legal age.” (the document did not define “legal age” nor did the parties cite to Dubai authority).

The Court of Appeals affirmed the Family Court’s decision finding that the Dubai court rendered some form of a “child custody determination,” but that the Petitioner failed to offer any evidence as to how the Dubai court reached its custody determination and was thus in substantial conformity with the UCCJEA (i.e. that Dubai utilized a best interest standard similar to or consistent with Kentucky law regarding child custody).

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi

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