Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA)

Definition - What does Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) mean?

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) is a federal law that took effect in 1980. Its primary purpose is to prevent child abduction by a parent who is unhappy about custody or visitation orders. It also deters parents from seeking favorable results elsewhere, and seeks to eliminate any confusion regarding the orders that may surface between courts in different states.

Justipedia explains Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA)

One way that the PKPA protects children from disgruntled parents is by compelling courts to follow specific rules regarding jurisdiction in all child custody matters.

It stipulates that the state where the child has lived for six months before their parent(s) file for divorce or custody is their "home state." Under the PKPA, the authority to issue child custody and visitation orders is limited to the courts in this state. However, in certain circumstances, this authority can be transferred to courts in other states.

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