The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) was enacted in 1997, replacing the former Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. UCCJEA recognizes custodial issues arise because of our mobile society. Child custody disputes between parents can arise and involve more than one State. One parent may live in a different State from the one in which the parent and the child or children live. More than one state may seek to exercise the power (jurisdiction) to decide a custodial dispute. UCCJEA provides the method by which jurisdiction for such child custody disputes is determined. The “home state” of the child is given priority and the first opportunity to take jurisdiction over the issue. Another state may assume temporary emergency jurisdiction, but only long enough to secure the safety of the threatened person and transfer the proceeding to the home state or to a state with another ground for jurisdiction. UCCJEA also provides methods for enforcement and modification of child custody orders.
The UCCJEA appears in New York State statues in the Domestic Relations Law, beginning at Section 75 and continuing through Section 78-a, which may be found by clicking this link.