The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was designed to deter interstate parental kidnapping and to promote uniform jurisdiction and enforcement provisions in interstate child custody and visitations cases. The UCCJEA is a uniform state law that all states can adopt to deter interstate parental kidnapping.
The UCCJEA was approved in 1997 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to replace its 1968 Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA). NCCUSL drafts and proposes laws in areas where it believes uniformity is important, but the laws become effective only upon adoption by state legislatures.
The UCCJEA governs state courts’ jurisdiction to make and modify child-custody determinations, which includes custody and visitation orders. The UCCJEA requires state courts to enforce valid child-custody and visitation determinations made by sister state courts. It also establishes innovative interstate enforcement procedures.
The UCCJEA assures that a single court will have jurisdiction over custody proceedings, even if a parent or guardian has abducted the child.
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