UCCJEA: Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
Child custody matters are the most emotionally charged, and most important, issues dealt with by divorce attorneys. Custody disputes arise between parents during, but more frequently after a divorce or dissolution, or between unmarried biological parents, and sometimes grandparents. When parents and their children live in one state, the courts of that state have jurisdiction over those matters. However, when parents live in different states, more than one state may have jurisdiction, or the power to adjudicate the matter. In this situation, parents who want to modify their custody orders can run into problems of battling courts. This is the point where the UCCJEA steps in.
Under the UCCJEA the “home state” of the child has preference, and any state that is not the child’s “home state” must defer to that state. Also, the UCCJEA provides for continuing exclusive jurisdiction in custody matters. If a state takes jurisdiction over a child custody dispute, it retains jurisdiction over the matter as long as the state maintains a significant connection with the parents, or until all parties move out of the state. This is important to keep parents from moving from state to state, jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with the purpose to delay and interfere with the other parents child
Another important provision of the UCCJEA is to battle parental kidnapping. The UCCJEA gives prosecutors the power to enforce child custody orders, allowing them to direct law enforcement officers to locate a child and return the child to the rightful parent under the current court order. This gives parents and child
If you are involved in an interstate child