The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) had been proposed in 1968. By 1981, it was adopted by every state in the U.S. The UCCJA, in its original form, was intended to prohibit parental interstate kidnapping and forum shopping by the non-custodial parent looking for a forum which may render a favorable result. The UCCJA sought to (1) establish jurisdiction over a child custody case in one state; and (2) protect a custody order of that state from modification in any other state, so long as the original state retains jurisdiction over the case. If a non-custodial parent cannot take a child to another state and petition the court of that state for a favorable modification of an existing custody order, the incentive to run with the child is greatly diminished. Yet this uniform law presented a number of problems that are addressed in this primer. The Gitlin Law Firm provides this updated article including a current resource bibliography at the end of the article with links of interests to lawyers wanting to understand how this important law works.
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