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Legal Statutes: Arkansas

UPDATED September 15, 2017

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Subchapter 4. International Child Abduction Prevention Act

back to top9-13-405. Abduction risk factors

(a) To determine if there is a risk of international child abduction, the court shall consider:

(1)(A) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has committed international child abduction as defined in § 9-13-402(6).

(B) In defense of this factor, the parent or custodian may establish that he or she had a good faith belief that his or her conduct was necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child;

(2) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has threatened to commit the act of international child abduction as defined in § 9-13-402(6);

(3) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has attempted to commit the act of international child abduction as defined in § 9-13-402(6);

(4) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has taken a step that constitutes an overt act toward the accomplishment of international child abduction as defined in § 9-13-402(6);

(5)(A) Whether the parent or custodian lacks a financial reason to stay in the United States.

(B) Evidence of this factor shall include, but not be limited to, evidence that the parent or custodian is:

(i) Financially independent;

(ii) Able to work outside of the United States; or

(iii) Unemployed;

(6) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has recently engaged in activities that could facilitate the removal of the child from the United States by the parent or custodian, including, but not limited to:

(A) Quitting a job;

(B) Selling a primary residence;

(C) Terminating a lease;

(D) Closing bank accounts;

(E) Liquidating other assets;

(F) Hiding or destroying documents;

(G) Applying for a passport or visa for the parent, custodian, or child;

(H) Applying to obtain birth certificate, school records, or medical records of the child;

(I) Making travel arrangements for the parent, custodian, or child; or

(J) Purchasing airline, railway, cruise ship, or other travel tickets for the parent, custodian, or child;

(7) Whether the parent or custodian has a history of:

(A) Child abuse;

(B) Domestic violence;

(C) Marital instability; or

(D) Not cooperating with the other parent or custodian;

(8) Whether the parent or custodian has a criminal history;

(9) Whether the parent or custodian has a history of violating court orders;

(10) Whether the parent or custodian:

(A) Has strong familial, emotional, or cultural ties to another country, particularly a country that is not a signatory to or compliant with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; and

(B) Lacks strong ties to the United States, regardless of whether the parent or custodian is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; or

(11) Any other factor that the court finds to be relevant to the determination of the risk for international child abduction.

(b) If the court finds that there is credible evidence of a risk of international child abduction based on the court's consideration of the factors in subsection (a) of this section, then the court shall also consider evidence regarding the following factors to evaluate the risk of international child abduction:

(1) Whether the parent or custodian is undergoing a change in status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security that would adversely affect his or her ability to remain legally in the United States;

(2) Whether the parent's or custodian's application for United States citizenship has been denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security;

(3) Whether the parent, custodian, or anyone acting on behalf of the parent or custodian has forged or presented misleading or false evidence to obtain a visa, a passport, a social security card, or any other identification card or has made any misrepresentations to the United States Government; or

(4) Whether the foreign country to which the parent or custodian has ties:

(A) Presents obstacles to the recovery and return of a child who is abducted to that country from the United States;

(B) Has no legal mechanisms for immediately and effectively enforcing an order issued by a court of this state regarding the possession of or access to the child;

(C) Has laws or practices that would:

(i) Enable the parent, custodian, or any person acting on behalf of the parent or custodian to obtain registration of the child with the country for the purposes of citizenship or for other purposes;

(ii) Enable the parent, custodian, or any person acting on the behalf of the parent or custodian to obtain for the child a passport or other travel documents from the country;

(iii) Allow entry of the child into the country without a passport or other travel documents;

(iv) Bestow nationality of the country on the child through automatic acquisition or other means;

(v) Not recognize, accept, or allow dual nationality of citizens of the country;

(vi) Enable the parent, custodian, or any person acting on the behalf of the parent or custodian to prevent the child's other parent or custodian from contacting the child without due cause;

(vii) Restrict the child's other parent or custodian from freely traveling to or exiting from the country because of that parent's or custodian's gender, nationality, or religion; or

(viii) Restrict the child's ability to legally leave the country after the child reaches the age of majority because of the child's gender, nationality, or religion;

(D) Is included by the United States Department of State on a list of state sponsors of terrorism;

(E) Is a country for which the United States Department of State has issued a travel warning to United States citizens regarding travel to the country;

(F) Does not have an embassy of the United States in the country;

(G) Is engaged in any active military action or war, including a civil war;

(H) Is a party to and compliant with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, according to the most recent report on compliance issued by the United States Department of State;

(I) Does not provide for the extradition of a perpetrator of international child abduction or the return of the child to the United States; or

(J) Poses a risk that the child's physical health or safety would be endangered in the country because of specific circumstances relating to the child or because of human rights violations that are being committed against children.


Acts of 2005, Act 170, § 1, eff. Aug. 12, 2005.