Jurisdiction in New Jersey Parental Child Abduction Cases
In child custody cases, jurisdiction refers to a child’s home state where they have resided for at least six months. The courts in this state will oversee any custody issues, such as a parental kidnapping, and do not require the child to physically be in their home state to still have jurisdiction over their case.
It is important for both of a child’s parents to be familiar with the laws surrounding the jurisdiction of parental child abduction cases. No parent should take their child out of their home state for any reason, as this can lead to legal repercussions. A knowledgeable attorney could explain how jurisdiction in New Jersey parental child abduction cases progress and ensure that families abide by the appropriate statutes. Get in touch with a parental child abduction lawyer as soon as possible.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) governs child custody issues across the country, including parental child abduction. This law was created to prevent abduction and makes it easier for courts to enforce custody orders in a child’s home state.
Under UCCJEA, it is illegal for a parent to remove their child from their home state for a prolonged period of time. Short trips may be permissible, but they must always return the child quickly.
If a parent takes their child away from their home state for an extended period of time without the permission of the other parent or the court, this would qualify as a parental kidnapping case. The appropriate jurisdiction would be in the state that the child was abducted from, and the left-behind parent would file a report with the police in that state. An emergency application filed under the UCCJEA could be made requesting the immediate return of the child. A local lawyer experienced in these situations could help a parent make these filings.
There are some circumstances, such as situations of domestic violence, that may cause a parent to want to leave their jurisdiction with their child. However, fleeing to another jurisdiction for safety reasons is still against the law. In cases like these, the concerned parent should go to the police and obtain a restraining order against the other party. After having completed this step, they could seek permission from the court to move out of the state for safety reasons, even if temporarily.
Recovering a Child Abducted from Their Jurisdiction
In the event of their child’s abduction, a parent would usually immediately contact an attorney and file an emergent application for the child to be returned immediately. The court would serve the other party, who would be legally obligated to comply with the order. In many parental child abduction cases, the other party will obey and bring the child back. If the abducting parent does not comply, the court may set a certain time frame for the other parent to return the child.
If the other parent does not comply, there are other measures that the left-behind can take to get their child back to their jurisdiction. For example, they can often ask the court for the police to issue an Amber Alert or ask that their child be put on a no travel registry, which would go into effect in an airport. If they know which state the child has been taken to, they could also request for the police in the other state to assist in locating and bringing back the child. If the left-behind parent does not know where their child currently is, they could enlist a private investigator to locate them and bring them back to their jurisdiction pursuant to a court order.
A Local Attorney Could Help Return a Child to Their Jurisdiction
A parental child abduction can become even more complex when it involves state borders and different jurisdictions. You may need a qualified legal team to help you navigate the laws surrounding jurisdiction in New Jersey to bring your child back home safely. A skilled abduction lawyer could work diligently to protect your child in this stressful situation and reunite your family. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.