There are so many things to worry about if you have a UCCJEA case. The UCCJEA, or Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, is the primary way that states of multiple courts determine in which state a child-related case should be heard.
If you have an Illinois UCCJEA case, make sure to . . .
Get an actual UCCJEA lawyer
“UCCJEA’ is an acronym that stands for the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
For practical purposes, dealing with UCCJEA cases is a specialty. That’s because – while it is a facet of divorce and child custody law – not many attorneys have had very complicated cases involving the UCCJEA.
I am a UCCJEA lawyer in Illinois, and I know the law well. I can see far down the line and what can be a dizzying maze of questionably drafted statutory “guidelines.”
Get serious from the beginning
If you have a UCCJEA case, then you realize that such a case can have a major impact on your life. Depending upon which state has jurisdiction to hear the case, you could be doing with the case in your own state, or another state.
What happens in the beginning of a UCCJEA case in Illinois can set your case when a certain directory that is very hard to change. In other words, small mistakes in the beginning have an out-sized impact on the rest of your child custody case.
UCCJEA cases often start off with emergencies – and that’s an incredibly critical time period. If you are involved in a situation like that, or think you might be, you should check out this article about UCCJEA emergencies. Additionally, UCCJEA emergencies often involve orders of protection (aka “restraining orders”); you can check out this article about orders of protection.
Whether you are trying to keep jurisdiction in Illinois, or keep jurisdiction out of Illinois, you need to get serious in the beginning if you have a UCCJEA case.
UCCJEA cases are complicated because there are many options and many things that can go wrong. If you have a UCCJEA case in Illinois, then you need to be flexible.
For example, what I recommend is reassessing your case each step of the way. You might need to make adjustments.
Sometimes people contact me, I talk to them about their issues, then they get mad about what I have to say.
Sometimes cases don’t go the way you’d like. That could be for any number of reasons. Maybe the other sides as better evidence, or convincingly lies. Maybe the judge was wrong.
Whatever happens in an Illinois UCCJEA case, you need to be realistic. That will help you make the best decisions.