SMU Law Review


This article discusses the jurisdictional power of state courts to adjudicate family law disputes involving persons who are not domiciliaries or residents of the forum state. It examines a series of recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court and applies their teachings in the context of family law litigation. Particular attention is given to the requirements of the due process clause, the relationship of the due process clause to principles of full faith and credit, and legislative responses to problems commonly encountered by family law practitioners who are in the business of litigating family law disputes in the interstate context. In this regard, the Article analyzes and compares the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act and the Parental Kidnaping Prevention Act of 1980 that compel enforcement of sister state child custody determinations with comparable provisions of the Texas Family Code. A principal thrust of the Article is to demonstrate the relationship among these three legislative schemes, which are designed to deal with problems of the "interstate child" who remains trapped in the conflict of laws.

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