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Family Law -- Parental Kidnapping in Arkansas Under The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act

NCJ Number
University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: (1987-88) Pages: 69-81
J S Farmer
Date Published
13 pages
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) provides guidelines designed to avoid jurisdictional competition and conflict among State courts, and promote information exchange between two States concerned with the custody of the same child.
A defect of the UCCJA is that it is not mandatory and has not been adopted by all States. In addition, under the UCCJA, it is possible in some cases for two States to assert jurisdiction in a custody dispute. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) establishes four alternative bases of jurisdiction, but gives exclusive jurisdiction to the child's home State. The Arkansas Supreme Court decision in Norsworthy v. Norsworthy followed both the letter and the spirit of the UCCJA and the PKPA by according exclusive jurisdiction to the child's home State (in this case, Texas). By avoiding conflicting adjudications and promoting interstate cooperation, the Arkansas Supreme Court has reduced the need for Federal intervention and prevented the State from becoming a friendly forum for child-snatching parents seeking to change valid custody decrees. 100 footnotes.