Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act | PKPA

The family law lawyers at Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins understand that every custody situation can be very stressful. At Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys, we pride ourselves on educating our clients in hopes that they will be a part of the process as much as possible when it comes to making major decisions concerning custody.

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act | PKPA

In 1980, Congress enacted PKPA which requires States to protect children through custody orders that have been decided (or adjudicated) in other States unless that state has declined jurisdiction and the new State has exercised jurisdiction. Some key points of PKPA include:

  • Enforcing custody orders (not modifying) of other States unless that State no longer has jurisdiction or is refusing to exercise jurisdiction.
  • Defer to the jurisdiction of the State that created the order and still continues to exercise jurisdiction.
  • Refrain or refuse to exercise jurisdiction over a case as long as another State has jurisdiction over the current case in conformity with PKPA.
  • PKPA ensures that proper parties get notice to be heard at any hearing or case involving another State proposing to take over jurisdiction or hear the case. This protects parents from new court orders being entered without notice to a parent to be heard in court.

Sometimes, PKPA may seem that it conflicts with the UCCJEA. The most common one is emergency jurisdiction. Sometimes parents may flee to another State for an emergency and take the children. Usually, this is not proper. There are ways to get children protection in their home State without fleeing to another without notice to the other parent. Further, there are other avenues that enable a parent to leave the State with the children on a permanent basis. In Utah, the statute that controls that situation is UCA 30-3-37. There is a procedure that must be followed under certain custody situations to make sure all Parties get to be heard before the children move to a new State that will be established as their new permanent home.

If you are facing any of these situations the family law attorneys at Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins can help protect your rights as a parent. Call today for a free consultation at (801) 475-0123.

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act | PKPA

Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act | PKPA

Written by Arnold Wadsworth Coggins

Arnold, Wadsworth & Coggins Attorneys is a premier Utah law firm serving the Wasatch Front in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, criminal law, and civil litigation. Our attorneys provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personal attention. With over 35 years of trial practice and litigation experience, we bring big firm expertise at affordable rates