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Can Your Ex Leave New Jersey With Your Child Without Your Permission?

Please read on, then contact an experienced Ocean County child custody attorney to learn if your ex can leave New Jersey with your child without your permission.

What happens if your ex leaves New Jersey with your child without your permission?

Even though Garden State law eschews the zero-sum approach to child custody, i.e. with one parent having sole physical and/or legal custody of the child, and prefers a more balanced arrangement, neither parent may unilaterally relocate or make important decisions without the other’s consent and/or that of the state’s Family Court. You see, New Jersey’s Family Court places the best interests of the child above all other concerns. It does not care what either parent finds “convenient” or “fair.” Any new arrangements will require the Family Court to reevaluate the factors used to determine the initial ruling. That said, if your ex unlawfully relocates your child, he or she opens him- or herself up to severe penalties in both Family and criminal court.

What penalties might your ex incur for taking your child out of New Jersey without your consent?

If your ex unilaterally relocates your child, the Family Court will likely hold that against him or her when reevaluating the current custody arrangement. Furthermore, he or she will turn a civil matter into a criminal one. Relocating with your child when he or she has no privilege to do so might constitute parental kidnapping, also known as interfering with child custody, which could result in your ex facing the following criminal penalties:

  • A prison sentence of 5 to 10 years
  • A fine of up to $150,000

Even if the police are handling this matter, you should reach out to a skilled Ocean County family law attorney to discuss your next steps, or even fight to prevent this from happening in the first place.

How can an Ocean County family law attorney help you?

Whatever you may think, no Family Court judge relishes the thought of restricting either parent’s access to his or her child. In fact, they will do everything in their power to prevent that. However, that may be necessary to promote your child’s best interests. A qualified legal representative from our firm will help you uncover and present the evidence showing that your ex is a risk to your child’s best interests and thus, he or she should have less access or be subject to greater scrutiny. Let us help you whether or not it is too late. Please give us a call today.

Contact our experienced Ocean County firm

Matters of divorce and family law require the attention and skill of an experienced attorney who will fight for your future. Not only is your financial well-being at stake, but in a divorce, both you and your children’s emotional well-being are at risk as well. If you need a divorce and family law attorney in Ocean County, New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today to schedule a consultation.