UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act):

A federal law enacted in all states designed to update the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act to bring the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act into compliance with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and other federal statutes such as the Violence Against Women Act, as well as to make those changes to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act which are necessary as a consequence of inconsistent court interpretations.  Refer to Hague Convention.

UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act):

A federal law individually enacted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands regarding issues of child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) when dealing with parties from different states. UIFSA addresses widespread criticisms of the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) and its successor, the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (RURESA), and facilitates the establishment, enforcement, and modification of child support orders.

Uncared For:

Legal description of a child or youth who is homeless, or whose home cannot provide the specialized care necessary to maintain the health and wellbeing their physical, emotional or mental condition requires. Refer to Abandonment or Ward.

Uncontested Divorce:

An “uncontested divorce” is considered a no-fault dissolution of the marriage where the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce, particularly as they address issues of financial child custody, spousal maintenance, property division, etc., and present an executed separation agreement to the court for approval.  Refer to No-Fault Divorce.

Undue Hardship:

In matters of family law, a two-step test used to determine if excessive financial difficulties exist in satisfying the amount payable for financial child support under the state adopted child support guidelines.  Under the guidelines, either parent may ask the court to set the child support amount at a higher or lower level if either parent or the child is experiencing undue hardship.  The court first decides whether the parent requesting the change is in circumstances that would make it difficult either to pay the required amount or to support the child on that amount.  Second, the court compares the standards of living of both households. The court will look at the income of every member of both households to compare standards of living. If the parent claiming undue hardship cannot prove that his or her household’s standard of living is lower than the other parents, the court must reject the claim of undue hardship.  Many experts dispute the use of Standards of Living as a disguised form of alimony because it exceeds the cost of living for the child(ren).  Refer to Child Support Guidelines, Alimony, or Spousal Maintenance.

Unexercised Interest:

Waiving or ignoring the right to exercise a financial interest in receiving retirement pensions, investment securities, or other vested benefits of another person earned during the course of the marriage, subject to the division of property in a divorce proceeding.

UPA (Uniform Parentage Act):

Integrates the Uniform Parentage Act (1973), as revised by this version, along with provisions covered by the Uniform Putative and Unknown Fathers Act (1988), and the Uniform Status of Children of Assisted Conception Act (1988), into a single Act of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.  The UPA (2000) conforms to the mandate in Title 42 of the U.S. Code requiring states to provide for parentage proceedings at any time before a child attains 18 years of age; and further allows a parentage proceeding to cover any and all disputes in parentage, whether in a paternity action, divorce, probate, or other legal proceeding.


Refers to any action which is in violation of a statute, federal or state constitution, or established legal precedents.

Use and Possession:

References the Court's authority to grant a parent, who has custody of the minor child(ren) of the marriage, to remain in the family home for up to three years from the date of the divorce (as may be allowed by statute), or until the party with use and possession of the family Home and personal property remarry, whichever occurs first. Refer to Pendente Lite.


A Latin term meaning "wife." A dated practice commonly used in deeds and documents by the term "et ux" (and wife) stemming from a time when a wife was considered a legal appendage of a man and not worthy of being named.