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Jurisdiction The geographic or political entity governed by a particular legal system or body of laws.

The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (the UCCJEA), the Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) to provide current information about the UCCJEA. The
UCCJEA is a uniform State law that was approved in 1997 by the National Conference of Commissioners
on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to replace its 1968 Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (the UCCJA).

Getting a custody determination that is entitled to enforcement nationwide-and getting it enforced -
may be critical to recovering an abducted child in the United States. The laws governing custody
jurisdiction and enforcement are the:
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA),
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA),
- Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 (PKPA),

The UCCJEA governs State court's jurisdiction to make and modify "child-custody determinations", a
term that expressly includes custody and visitation orders, codifies practices that have effectively
reduced interstate conflict, conforms jurisdictional standards to those of the Federal Parental Kidnapping
Prevention Act (the PKPA) to ensure interstate enforceability of orders, and adds protections for victims
of domestic violence who move out of State for safe haven. The Act requires State courts to enforce
valid child-custody and visitation determinations made by sister State courts.
The UCCJA based four jurisdictional grounds:

1. Home State (reserved for the State in which the child has lived for at least 6 months preceding
commencement of the action),
2. Significant connection (exists when a State has substantial evidence about a child as a result of the
child's significant connections to that State),
3. Emergency (governs situations such as abandonment or abuse that require immediate protective
action),
4. Vacuum (applies when no other jurisdictional basis exists).

The UCCJEA does not apply to child support cases. Please ask your county family court a Bulletin of the
UCCJEA.
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