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Overview of the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement Act

In way of background, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act was enacted in 1968.  It was revisited an amended 30 years later with the formation of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act in 1997.  It has been adopted in all 50 states and was adopted in Illinois in 2003.

Definition of Child Custody Proceeding – this includes proceedings involving legal custody, physical custody, visitation, etc. and doesn’t include emancipation, juvenile delinquency or enforcement proceedings

Home State– parent lives for 6 consecutive months before the commencement; if child is less than 6 months of age then the pleadings must mention birth location

Initial Jurisdiction – a state has initial jurisdiction when the child for the 6 months prior (temporary absence is okay).  If no state fits then you must do a forum non conveniens analysis

Continuing Jurisdiction – the state with initial jurisdiction shall have continuing jurisdiction until there is a finding that the parties no longer have a significant connection to the state and parties are no longer present

Jurisdiction to Modify – no jurisdiction to modify unless it would also have initial jurisdiction

Emergency Jurisdiction – Statute is silent on duration but this applies where child has been abandoned or it is necessary to protect the child from abuse


"This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is recommended that you speak to an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction before relying on the information in this blog."

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