Significant-Connection Jurisdiction Law and Legal Definition

Significant connection jurisdiction as applied in child-custody matters refers to jurisdiction based on the best interests of the child; at least one parent's (or litigant's) significant connection to the state and the presence in the state of substantial evidence about the child's present or future care, protection, training, and personal relationships. This type of jurisdiction is conferred by both the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act. The significant connection jurisdiction rule applies under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act only when the home state has declined jurisdiction. It predominantly applies to situations such as a parent visiting another state with her child, then deciding to remain there. The parent may then file for custody in the new state, but only if the state where the child was born waives jurisdiction. This is also known as substantial evidence jurisdiction.