Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act Law and Legal Definition

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA), 1968 was enacted to avoid jurisdictional competition and conflict with courts of other states in matters of child custody which have in the past resulted in the shifting of children from state to state with harmful effects on their well-being. The Act was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The Act sets out the standards by which a state court determines whether it has jurisdiction to hear a case of child custody. The Act also decides a court’s jurisdiction to recognize a custody decree issued by another court.

All the fifty states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia have adopted the Act. Usually the courts give the UCCJA a liberal interpretation in order to accomplish the general purposes of the Act. [Middleton v. Middleton, 227 Va. 82 (Va. 1984)].