Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Law and Legal Definition

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a Uniform Act drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1997 to streamline child custody rulings with courts across state lines. It replaces the previous Uniform Act, the "Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. This law helps to determine which court has jurisdiction when determining the custody of minors. It provides uniform procedures to register and enforce child-custody orders across state lines. All but two states are signatories of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, though the remaining states, Massachusetts and Vermont continue to debate updating the act.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act consist of three main articles that outline jurisdiction and enforcement in custody cases that cross state lines. The Act requires that one state be chosen as the minor's home state based on qualifying criteria, giving that state primary jurisdiction over the case.