How the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Works

At the Orange County of the Law Office of David P Schwarz we have litigated numerous UCCJEA cases. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 for a consultation. We can also be reached via the web. Our email address is

A Child Custody Lawyer will help you understand The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA, Fam.C. § 3400 et seq.). This establishes the exclusive jurisdictional law as between competing Court systems in the United States and potentially foreign countries. In addition, the UCCJEA assists in determining the initial child custody and visitation adjudications and for modification of a child custody/visitation determination.

The UCCJEA also governs the recognition and enforcement of foreign country custody orders.

A Child Custody Attorney will also explain how The UCCJEA enforcement provisions are also applicable to Hague Convention custody orders. A California court may enforce an order for the return of a child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child custody determination.

UCCJEA remedies not exclusive: The UCCJEA enforcement remedies are cumulative, not exclusive. Thus, a California court may also use any remedy available under other California laws to enforce an out-of-state child custody determination. This also might result in the Police and the criminal system having to get involved in enforcing UCCJEA issues.

A Child Custody Lawyer will explain how the Full faith and credit works in the California courts. Full Faith and Credit states it “shall recognize and enforce” an out-of-state child custody/visitation order made by a court that exercised jurisdiction “in substantial conformity with” the UCCJEA or “under factual circumstances meeting” UCCJEA jurisdictional standards unless the order has been vacated, stayed or modified by a court with UCCJEA jurisdiction. This is often referred to as a Sister State Judgment. Meaning an out of state custody order can have just as much force and effect as that of a California Child Custody order. (A modification made in accordance with the UCCJEA supersedes the initial order and becomes the order entitled to full faith and credit.)

At the Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we will explain to our clients how the UCCJEA can work in their favor when concerning child custody matter. Under Fam.C. §§ 3443(a), 3446(b), 3453; final judgment in one state, if rendered by court with adjudicatory authority over subject matter and persons, qualifies for recognition “throughout the land”.

Conversely, California is not required to give full faith and credit to a child custody/visitation determination made by a court that lacked jurisdiction under the UCCJEA (or under standards substantially conforming with the UCCJEA.

At the Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we are very experienced in the workings of the UCCJEA. We can fiercely fight for your child custody rights in California Courts. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 for a consultation. We can also be reached via the web. Also we can be contacted by email at

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