Legal Memorandum: Application of the UCCJEA in MN

Issue: Under Minnesota law, is the application of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) limited to interstate custody cases?

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA); Interstate custody cases
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 379 N.W.2d 139; 793 N.W.2d 752
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 518A.01, subd. 1(a)
Date: 06/01/2011

            See generally In re Welfare of R.S. and L.S., 793 N.W.2d 752, 760 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011) (stating that “UCCJEA was adopted for the purpose of resolving jurisdictional issues that arise in interstate child-custody disputes”); Stone v. Stone, 636 N.W.2d 594, 597 (Minn. Ct. App. 2001) (stating thatMinnesota recently adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which, like other “uniform custody laws were established to resolve jurisdictional issues involving interstate child-custody disputes and must be interpreted accordingly”); Nazar v. Nazar, 505 N.W.2d 628, 636 (Minn. Ct. App. 1993) (noting the same purpose of the earlier UCCJA as formerly codified under Minn. Stat. § 518A.01, subd. 1(a)). 

The UCCJEA is characterized as one of “a series of laws designed to . . . promote uniform jurisdiction and enforcement provisions in interstate child-custody and visitation cases.”  See U.S. Dep’t of Justice, The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, available at http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/189181.pdf (emphasis added).  See also  Desjarlait v. Desjarlait, 379 N.W.2d 139, 143 (Minn. Ct. App. 1985) (stating that the “express purpose of the [former] UCCJA [now UCCJEA] is to avoid jurisdictional disputes between states in child custody matters”) (emphasis in original). 


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