Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–4602.07. Inconvenient forum.

(a) A court of the District which has jurisdiction under this chapter to make a child-custody determination may decline to exercise its jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon motion of a party, the court’s own motion, or request of another court.

(b) Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of the District shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information and shall consider all relevant factors, including:

(1) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the future and which state could best protect the parties and the child;

(2) The length of time the child has resided outside the District;

(3) The distance between the court in the District and the court in the state that would assume jurisdiction;

(4) The relative financial circumstances of the parties;

(5) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction;

(6) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending litigation, including testimony of the child;

(7) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and the procedures necessary to present the evidence; and

(8) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the pending litigation.

(c) If a court of the District determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, it shall stay the proceedings upon condition that a child-custody proceeding be promptly commenced in another designated state and may impose any other condition the court considers just and proper.

(d) A court of the District may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this chapter if a child-custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other proceeding.


(Apr. 27, 2001, D.C. Law 13-293, § 2(d), 48 DCR 2214.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-4602.01, § 16-4602.03, § 16-4602.06, and § 16-4602.08.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 207 of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (1997 Act).