Arkansas Divorce Guide

Relocation Of A Child’s Home

Whether or not you are legally removing Moving a child awaythe child to another state will depend on several factors.


  1. What your intent is (vacation, permanent move, etc.)
  2. What your custody order says
  3. If there is a statutory restriction on travel and relocation, and whether it is done with appropriate notice to the other parent

If you have a court order that allows travel out of state, it will likely have notification to the other parent as a condition. You may be required to get the court’s permission, the other parent’s permission, or both.

Should your ex remove your child from the area or state without following the notification guidelines, it usually is not considered kidnapping. If the other parent intentionally denies you your visitation or custody rights, that parent could be guilty of a crime.

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The courts assume a presumption in favor of relocation. The non-relocating parent bears the burden to rebut this presumption.Hollandsworth v. Knyzewski, 353 Ark. 470, 109 S.W.3d 653 (2003)
If you believe the other parent may abduct your child, you should contact a family law attorney immediately. He or she will gather details from you about the other parent, and make a judgment about how to proceed. If you are still married but before any custody order has been issued, no abduction can take place, as both parents have equal rights to care for the child. If you and the other parent never married and there was no custody order entered, the mother has custody of the child by law and a court may order that the child be returned.

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