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Pasqualone v. Pasqualone, 63 Ohio St.2d 96, 406 N.E.2d 1121 (1980).

Under the current state of child custody law, children are often transported from one state to another while their parents battle for the right to enjoy permanent custody. Even after custody has been awarded to one of the parties, the stability of the child's future may still be uncertain. The Uniform Laws Commission asserts that those who lose a court battle over custody are frequently unwilling to accept the judgment of the court and will abduct the child or fail to return him after a visit. Even though these parents have illegally abducted their children, they often relitigate the matter in another jurisdiction in an attempt to find a judge who will grant their plea for custody.

In response to this confusion, the Ohio Legislature adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA). This Act was designed to remedy the practices of “self-help” and “seize-and-run” which became more beneficial to parents than the orderly processes of the law.

“Underlying the entire Act is the concept that to avoid jurisdictional conflicts and confusions which have done serious harm to innumerable children, a court in one state must assume major responsibility to determine who is to have custody of a particular child; that this court must reach out for help of courts in other states in order to arrive at a fully informed judgment which transcends state lines and considers all claimants, residents, and non-residents, on an equal basis and from the standpoint of the welfare of the child.”

In 1980, the Ohio Supreme Court had the opportunity to interpret the Act in the case of Pasqualone v. Pasqualone. This casenote involves three general issues which are germane to child custody disputes. First, should the final determination of custody be irresolute because a defendant parent refuses to litigate the matter in a particular jurisdiction? Second, do amendable custody decrees further the child's best interest? Third, should a court direct its attention towards insuring substantial justice for the defendant parent, or should the court's primary concern be focused on the future welfare of the child?

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