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A legal principle requiring judges to recognize and enforce valid decrees and judgments issued by courts in other states. Thus, a Wisconsin judgment for back alimony can be enforced in Idaho, if the recipient takes the steps necessary to convert it to an Idaho judgment.
In the past, states often did not afford full faith and credit to custody decisions of courts in other states, preferring instead to decide the issues on the evidence before them. This often led to contradictory custody orders and sometimes children were kidnapped and thrown back and forth. Now, however, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act require states to give full faith and credit to custody decisions rendered in other states.
28 U.S.C. s.1738, requires that federal courts 'give a state-court judgment the same preclusive effect as would be given that judgment under the law of the State in which the judgment was rendered.' Migra v. Warren City School Dist. Bd. of Educ., 465 U.S. 75, 81 ('84).