Relocation Law in Arkansas - Presumption Still in Favor of Relocation
In Arkansas, the presumption is that the custodial parent may move to another state with the children unless the non-custodial parent rebuts that presumption with evidence at a hearing. The court will look to several factors, all of which come from the case Hollandsworth v. Knyzewski, 353 Ark. 470, 109 S.W.3d 653 (2003), which provides:
"The polestar in making a relocation determination is the best interest of the child and the trial court should take into consideration the following matters: (1) the reason for the relocation; (2) the educational, health, and leisure opportunities available in the location in which the custodial parent and children will relocate; (3) visitation and communication schedule for the noncustodial parent; (4) the effect of the move on the extended family relationships in the location in which the custodial parent and children will relocate, as well as Arkansas; and (5) preference of the child, including the age, maturity, and the reasons given by the child as to his or her preference."
Two days ago, the Arkansas Court of Appeals remained steadfast in its position that the burden is on the non-custodial parent to prove that the relocation is not in the best interests of the children, and further, that the non-custodial parent better be prepared to provide compelling evidence if he/she intends to rebut the presumption. Here's the link to Trout v. Moreton, CA06-430 (Ark. App. Dec. 6, 2006) http://courts.state.ar.us/unpublished/2006b/20061206/ca06-430.pdf