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December 03, 2019 Columns


The UPA and UNCVA: An Analysis of Recent Updates

By Kendra Huard Fershee

In this issue, Family Law Quarterly is replaying some of its greatest hits (updated)! We are pleased to have four esteemed authors share their commentary on two important uniform acts that have been revised in the recent past. First, Professor Courtney Joslin has written a detailed breakdown of the 2017 revisions to the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which is richly informed by her role as the Reporter for this update to the UPA. Her birds-eye view of the formation of the current changes is invaluable to understanding how those changes might work and be implemented in states that, for example, are languishing under antiquated statutes that do not address the parentage issues that have arisen after the constitutional recognition of same-sex marriage.

A helpful analysis of the proposed changes by Richard Vaughan, a prominent attorney whose practice revolves around assisted reproductive technology (ART) and who is the chair of the ART Committee of the ABA Family Law Section. Mr. Vaughan’s take is informed by his years of work in this area and raises some important concerns about how the updated UPA might affect lawyers and judges who work in the area of ART.

Also in this issue, Jeff Atkinson and Barbara Atwood have written about their thoughts on the updates to the Uniform Nonparent Custody and Visitation Act (UNCVA) and how it might affect states considering adopting it. Professor Atkinson was the Reporter for the Act, and Professor Atwood served as the vice-chair of the Drafting Committee for the UNCVA. They walk readers through the history, scope, presumptions, jurisdiction, procedure, effects, and cost of the Act. This invaluable breakdown will help readers determine if the UNCVA is an Act that could benefit the state in which they have an impact on the future of family law.

We hope you will find this issue as incredibly helpful as we have in understanding the changes to these crucial Uniform Acts.

Kendra Huard Fershee

Editor in Chief

Family Law Quarterly

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Kendra Huard Fershee, Editor in Chief

Professor, Creighton University School of Law