Conway, AR asked in Child Custody for Arkansas

Q: My kids live in ar and their dad filed for custody in ga. What can i do

I left because of domestic violence...we moved 6 months ago and he has a xhild support hearing tomorrow...he only filed cause i filed for support...

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1 Lawyer Answer
Dustin A. Duke
Dustin A. Duke
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: There are a few issues that you are facing with the Georgia lawsuit. The first is whether Georgia has jurisdiction to decide custody or does Arkansas now have jurisdiction. If there is a previous custody order out of Georgia or if your ex filed suit for custody in Georgia within six months from the date you and the children moved, then Georgia will have jurisdiction. If there is no custody order and if you and the children lived in Arkansas six full months before your ex filed, then Arkansas will have jurisdiction to decide custody. If Georgia does have jurisdiction, you will need to defend against the lawsuit in Georgia. You still may be able to get jurisdiction transferred to Arkansas, especially if there is domestic violence involved, but you should hire a Georgia attorney to assist you. Even if you have lived in Arkansas six full months before your ex filed in Georgia, it would be a good idea to raise the lack of jurisdiction issue in Georgia (to let that court know that it shouldn't be making orders on custody). Again, a Georgia lawyer can assist with this. If Arkansas does have jurisdiction, it would be a good idea to get a custody order out of Arkansas. Although, under Arkansas law, if the children were born out of wedlock the mother has legal custody, because you are dealing with an abuser and because there are multiple states involved an order making it clear that you have custody would be helpful.

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