In a Child Custody Battle? Know Your Rights Under the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act

As difficult as divorce usually is on the separating spouses, the children are often caught in the middle. In a perfect world, custody issues are discussed and agreed upon and the children spend time with both according to the child custody agreement. However, when one parent chooses to deviate from the agreement, problems can ensue.

The federal government, well aware that hard feelings result from divorce and acrimonious child custody battles, passed the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act to protect the children and custodial parents when the other parent decides to take a child out of state. If a parent tries to interfere with the other parent’s custodial rights, the nationwide law makes it easier for states to work together when a child is taken from one jurisdiction into another against a court-ordered custody agreement.

When it comes to moving a child out of state and away from one parent, there are many issues to discuss. If the custodial parent is the one who wants to move, there is a legal way of dealing with it.

Can the Custodial Parent Take the Child Out of State?

If there is a good reason to move out of state (a move that would take the children away from the other parent), the custodial parent must file a motion with family court to get approval for the move. That parent must be able to show reason for the move and also that the child(ren) will not be harmed by the move. The judge will consider the information provided and make a decision about whether the custodial parent can move the children out of state.

It’s important to note, however, that if the judge permits the move, he or she will also require a schedule for visitation so that the other parent can spend time with the children.

However, if either parent ignores the court order and moves with the child without legal permission, it may be considered parental kidnapping. In this case, contact a skilled and experienced child custody lawyer at once to protect your rights.

Ronald Graziano is the managing partner of Graziano & Flynn. He has been representing clients in Camden County and throughout South Jersey on topics such as divorce, child custody, child support and alimony for more than 40 years. Contact him today for assistance with your custody battle.

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