Child custody law is governed by state law. The party affected by crossing the state lines without permission has the ability to request that the Court order the return of the child to the State. We serve and support all survivors, no matter their sex or gender. If you are seeking custody of your children, you can ask the judge to include a provision that the non-custodial parent is not allowed to travel with your child out of the state or the country. If There Is No Order or Written Agreement. Although you might be able to temporarily take your child out of state without the other parent's consent, you almost certainly can't get away with doing it permanently. The judge will consider a number of factors and make a decision on whether to allow you to take your child out of state. Law for Families provides all the legal information that you and your family need. Sometimes you have to agree to such provisions to settle the case, or the judge might have ordered it for some reason, such as because at least one parent's past behavior indicates that it's necessary. Unless you live on a state's border and you're moving only a few miles across the line, your decision will have a serious and permanent impact on your child's relationship with his other parent. In other states, the act of taking the children out of state itself may not be illegal unless the parent conceals (hides) the children from the other parent. But keep in mind that there's a difference between whether you can do something and whether you should. The other parent is threatening to charge me with parental kidnapping if I leave the state. If your state's child custody laws are silent – they don’t say anything one way or the other about taking your child out of state without the other parent's permission – you're generally still prevented from doing so if your court order or parenting agreement says that you'll only do it with your ex's knowledge and consent. Can I get temporary emergency custody before or after moving with my child? If there is a custody order in place, can I take my children out of the state? Please see Can I get temporary emergency custody? One common misconception among separated or divorced parents is that you always need your ex's permission to take your child out of state. Consult a lawyer as soon as possible in order to get help. Doing things without the other parent's consent or knowledge can make you appear uncooperative and controlling. 2 Under 18 U.S.C. For a list of legal resources, please see our Finding a Lawyer page. WomensLaw is not just for women. Child custody law is governed by state law. If permission to travel out-of-state or abroad with your children is required by court order, parents should not disregard this requirement and travel without it. The answer to this question is very complicated and may depend on many different factors. Is it illegal to transport a minor across state lines without parent's permission. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided). Child Travel Consent Form [PDF & Template] | Legal Templates You may want to ask the judge to include in the order that the other parent cannot take the children out of the state, or that the other parent may only have supervised visitation. Read More: How to Prove a Parent Unfit in Child Custody Cases, Taking the Child Out of State Permanently. What can I do? Frequently Asked Questions Involving Courts and COVID-19, Workplace Restraining Orders (Filed by Employers), When the other parent wants to take your children out of the state. You'll have a court order before you know it, and it will probably prohibit such actions. Depending on your state’s restraining order laws, a threat to take your child and leave the state might also possibly qualify you for a restraining order. A refusal might ruin your vacation plans, but it can become a valuable tool in court. The child will likely be placed into your custody as soon as he is brought back into the state, at least on a temporary basis pending final resolution of the kidnapping and custody issues. In other states, the act of taking the children out of … Doing so can put them in contempt of a court order and may open them up to civil or criminal penalties. § 2423, transporting a minor across state lines is a crime when done with the purpose to engage in illegal sex or child pornography: (a) Transportation with intent to engage in … Other factors that may be considered are whether the parents are married (and considered to have equal parental rights) or, in the case of unmarried parents, whether the father’s paternity has been legally established. This program provides parents advance warning of possible plans for international travel with the child.”. In other states, the act of taking the children out of state itself may not be illegal unless the parent conceals (hides) the children from the other parent. The move may be good for you and it may improve your child's quality of life, but doing it without the other party's consent and the express permission of a judge can endanger your right to custody. If your child has been taken out of state, this is not an issue to handle on your own. I am afraid the other parent will take our children out of the state. Unilateral activity like flying to the other side of the country and staying there for two straight weeks could so infuriate the other parent that you might find yourself in court. See our Finding a Lawyer page for information about resources in your state. © 2008–2020 WomensLaw.org is a project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Inc. All rights reserved. If there is an ongoing court action involving my children, can I take them out of the state? When you want to take your children out of the state. The opportunity to take your child out of state for a vacation or a visit with extended family may arise at the beginning of an ongoing litigation before any temporary orders are put in place. If a passport application is submitted for a child who is registered in CPIAP, the Department alerts the parent or parents. It depends on the status of your marriage. In some states, it may be against the law to take children out of state only if it violates a custody order or if there is an active custody case pending. If you have legitimate reasons to move you will have to ask a judge for permission to move your child out-of-state. You can read more about your state’s laws on our Restraining Orders page. If the other parent takes my children out of state, can s/he be charged with kidnapping? If your child does not have a passport yet, you may be able to register for the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program from the U.S. State Department, which provides the following service: “Parents may register their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP), one of the Department of State’s most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction. How can I keep the other parent from taking my children out of the country? You may want to immediately contact a lawyer who can help you figure out what you can do to try to prevent an abduction. If you are afraid that the other parent will take your children away without your consent, you might be able to ask the judge to issue an emergency custody order, which most states provide. What can I do? for more information as to what factors a judge might consider when deciding whether or not to grant emergency custody. If you have no written order or parenting plan agreement in place, you're generally free to take your child out of state for short periods of time as long as it doesn't interfere with the regular custody schedule you've established. Alternatively, the judge may order the other parent to post a bond (money) that would cover the cost of having to try to locate and retrieve your child if s/he were taken. This is often done by way of an “Order to Show Cause” (which is an emergency hearing) at which typically only one of the parties appear. If you can convince a judge that your concerns that the other parent is going to are “reasonable” based on the facts, you may be able to get the court to intervene. If your request is reasonable and the other parent withholds consent, this might make her appear spiteful and controlling in the eyes of the judge when and if your case goes to trial. We strongly suggest talking to a lawyer who specializes in custody matters and/or a prosecutor to find out if the other parent’s actions are legal or not. Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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