Arkansas residents are more mobile than ever before. With the invention of the Internet the world has gotten a little smaller. People can access information from all over the world and, therefore, work from all over the world. This gives individuals more flexibility when it comes to where they choose to live. While this can be a good thing, it can also complicate child custody matters — especially when parents live in two different states.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act has created standards for states to resolve child custody disputes when parents live in more than one state. The UCCJEA allows courts to determine which state has jurisdiction over child custody disputes.
When one parent lives in Arkansas and the other lives in another state, child custody issues can become intense. Each parent may want to spend as much time as possible with the child. The UCCJ EA helps to define the home state of the child to determine which state laws are applied. Under this law, the home state is where the child resided for the six months prior to the legal action.
There are others situations where a child’s home state may change. If, for example, the child is in one state for safety reasons, that state will be reluctant to send the child to the other state and will proceed with the case. Additionally, if the child has not lived in either state for six months, then the state where the child has significant connections will claim jurisdiction.
The UCCJEA is a complicated set of legal rules. It is important for parents in Arkansas who are going through a divorce to understand how the UCCJEA may affect their child custody situation.