Your Ex Left New Jersey with Your Child | What to Do

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Coparenting can be difficult, even when your child’s other parent lives just a few miles away. The task of raising your child gets exponentially harder when one parent wants to move out of state, not the least of which because it requires the parties to revisit the child custody arrangement. But what are you to do if your former spouse leaves New Jersey without your permission or that of the Family Court judge? If you are asking yourself that very question, please read on, then contact an experienced Bergen County, New Jersey child custody lawyer to learn what you can do if your ex leaves the state of New Jersey with your child without permission.

Can your ex take your child out of New Jersey without your permission?

In the Garden State, it may be illegal for your ex to take your child out of state, even temporarily, without permission from the judge and/or consent of the other parent, i.e. you. The primary physical custodial parent must surmount a number of legal hurdles in order to lawfully relocate. The Family Court will consider the same set of factors as those considered in determining the original custody arrangement. That said, unilaterally relocating your child could have serious consequences for either parent.

Is it a crime for your ex to unilaterally relocate your child outside of New Jersey?

It can be. According to New Jersey law, a parent taking a child out of state without the permission of the other parent or the court may constitute parental kidnapping. This offense, also known as “interference with custody of children,” occurs when a person knowingly or recklessly takes or entices any child under the age of 18 years from the custody of their parent, guardian or another lawful custodian, when he or she has no privilege to do so. Parental kidnapping is a felony in the state and carries a prison sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. If your ex takes your child out of state without due consent, he or she turns a civil dispute into a criminal matter.

Even though the police will most likely be involved in this matter, you would be wise to reach out to a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer. Our firm can also help work to prevent this from happening in the first place. Let us fight for your child’s best interests.

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If you are facing any family law matter, contact HD Family Law today to schedule your initial consultation.

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