Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago IL 60602
Contact: Kate Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Immediate Release:
NATIONAL LAW GROUP TO MEET IN TENNESSEE
New Act on Custody and Visitation Orders for Deployed Parents Scheduled for Completion
June 15, 2012 — A busy agenda of legislative drafts – dealing with issues ranging from a new law that will address the issues of the deployment of a parent in a custody or visitation case, to a new act establishing standards for premarital and marital agreements – awaits the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) at its 2012 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee, July 13-19.
The ULC, now in its 121st year, comprises more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws that are designed to solve problems common to all the states.
After receiving the ULC’s seal of approval, a uniform act is officially promulgated for consideration by the states, and legislatures are urged to adopt it. Since its inception in 1892, the ULC has been responsible for more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Partnership Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.
Four new uniform acts are scheduled for completion at this summer’s annual meeting.
The Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA) addresses issues of child custody and visitation that arise when parents are deployed in military or other national service. The deployment of a custodial parent raises custody issues that are not adequately dealt with in the law of most states. In many instances, deployment will be sudden, making it difficult to resolve custody issues before the deployment by ordinary child custody procedures. There is a need to ensure that parents who serve their country are not penalized for their service, while still giving adequate weight to the interests of the other parent, and most importantly, the best interest of the child. The UDPCVA contains provisions that apply generally to custody matters of service members, as well as provisions that arise on notice of and during deployment.
The Uniform Asset Freezing Orders Act creates a uniform process for the issuance of asset freezing orders, which are in personam orders freezing the assets of a defendant in order to prevent a party from dissipating assets prior to judgment. An asset freezing order is, by its very nature, an extraordinary remedy with potentially significant impact on the debtor whose assets are frozen and on third-parties holding those assets. Accordingly, it is extremely important that there be rigorous standards which must be met before such an order can be issued, which the uniform act provides. Since asset freezing orders also impact non-parties, the uniform act sets out with specificity the obligations of non-parties. The uniform act also contains a mechanism for recognition and enforcement of asset freezing orders issued by other states and from courts outside the United States.
The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act addresses the varying standards on both types of agreements that have led to conflicting laws, judgments, and uncertainty about enforcement as couples move from state to state. The Act harmonizes the standards in existing uniform acts governing premarital and marital agreements (Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, Uniform Marital Property Act, Uniform Probate Code, and Model Marriage and Divorce Act). The Act also addresses waivers of rights at death by agreement and requires explicit knowledge of other waivers. Waivers and unconscionability are also addressed with provisions relating to domestic violence.
The Uniform Manufactured Housing Act will allow owners of manufactured houses the option to classify manufactured homes as either real property or personal property. Although only a small percentage of manufactured homes are moved after being sited, the historic assumption is that the manufactured home is personal property – a remaining vestige of its ancestor, the travel trailer. As a result, 42 states issue a certificate of title for manufactured homes, as they do for cars. Though most of these states provide a statutory method by which a manufactured home can be reclassified as real property, the methods are cumbersome and often confusing. The act provides an efficient and effective method for having a manufactured home classified as real property at the time of the first retail sale, thereby obviating the need for a certificate of title, or at any other time. Classification of manufactured homes as real property should allow qualified buyers to obtain financing on more favorable terms. Retailers would be required to notify buyers of the classification option at the time of sale.
The Uniform Choice of Court Agreements Convention Implementation Act is also scheduled for approval at the ULC’s annual meeting. This act will assist in the implementation and ratification of the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, and is meant to harmonize with federal implementing legislation.
Other drafts which will be debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which are not scheduled for final approval, include the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, the Powers of Appointment Act, and the Act to Implement the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children.
The current drafts of all of these acts can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.