Duquesne Law Review


Jay Paul Kahle


Contemporary legal thought has thus far grappeled unsuccessfully with the problems presented by foreign child custody decrees. Ease of mobility and the transient nature of today's society have compounded the difficulties which arise from conflicts between states attempting to apply their laws to best serve the needs of their citizens. The Full Faith and Credit Clause providing for recognition of foreign judgments has not been considered applicable to amendable decrees, thus resulting in further confusion. The question of what constitutes proper jurisdiction to decide custody cases cannot be answered uniformly in all states. While certainly the high interest which each state must place upon protecting the children within its boundaries should not be diminished by its attempts to cooperate with its neighboring states, neither must the child's welfare be subject to states attempting to exercise their jurisdiction when it is not justified, in order to protect their sovereignty or insure the dignity of their courts. The challenge facing the courts is to achieve the proper method of reaching their own stated goal of providing for the "best interests of the child."

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