The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (hereafter referred to as “UCCJEA”) is a powerful Act in child custody determinations that has been adopted by many states to uphold two (2) main principles: 1) efficiently establish jurisdiction over a child custody case in one state when there is competing jurisdiction in another state; and, 2) protect the order of that original state of jurisdiction from modification in any other state, so long as the original state retains jurisdiction over the case. The main and fundamental goal is to discourage forum shopping because the Act will protect the previous court’s jurisdiction unless it is relinquished by meeting certain specific requirements.
An example of one of the most recent decisions regarding the UCCJEA from the Georgia Court of Appeals is Plummer v. Plummer, A17A0929 (2017), where the court ruled that although it had rendered the original child custody decision it was relinquishing jurisdiction because the requirements for relinquishing exclusive jurisdiction over the case had been met: No child nor the parents presently reside in the state. This case provided clarification that it was not enough that when the case was filed that the child and/or a parent lived in Georgia but a child and/or a parent must presently be in the state. The appeals’ court affirmed that the superior court indeed lacked justification to move forward on the modification in Georgia.
Categories: Child Custody