Interstate Child Custody (UCCJEA)

Preserving Jurisdictional Rights

As a response to frequent attempts by non-custodial parents to take their children across state lines without the approval of the custodial parent, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was established to provide a uniform (i.e. nationwide) law that protects children from being abducted by non-custodial parents.

The child’s home state is typically the jurisdiction under which a custody order is issued. When parents live in separate states, and custody disputes arise, however, non-custodial parents have been known to try to take the child out of the home state and seek custody under the jurisdiction of their own state. Unfortunately, some parents have been successful in doing this. For obvious reasons, these conflicts significantly affect the child in question. The UCCJEA was created, in part, to discourage non-custodial parents from doing this and to protect jurisdictional rights.

Protection and Enforcement

The UCCJEA includes many provisions that protect children from non-custodial parental abduction, also called parental kidnapping, and establish rules on what courts have jurisdiction over child custody disputes. Essentially, the UCCJEA establishes jurisdiction over a custody order and protects that jurisdiction. This means that a parent cannot take the child to another state to modify the custodial order under another jurisdiction (i.e. court). The custody order is protected from modification as long as the state that issued the order retains jurisdiction, but temporary jurisdictional changes can be made under emergency circumstances. The UCCJEA also provides another valuable layer of protection; it allows interstate enforcement of custody orders. This is a very important protection for both custodial and non-custodial parents who may move from state to state while their children grow up.

Custody orders are too often violated, and the UCCJEA was promulgated, in part, to help protect and enforce valid custody orders and allow for interstate enforcement. A custody dispute can arise at any time and in any state, and the best way to prevent custodial interference is to be aware of your rights and enforce the existing custody order you have. If you have concerns about custodial interference, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney about your rights. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help ensure you have a custody order in place that can protect them as well.


Custody is a high-stakes matter, but the knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.




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