Interstate Child Custody Lawyers in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ
Providing Support to Parents Facing Complications That Arise from Interstate Custody Matters in Freehold, Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant, Wall, and Other Southern New Jersey Areas
Child custody issues are rarely easy to resolve, especially when one parent moves out of state. In today’s global economy, it has become harder and harder to live in one place for 10,20 or 30 years and work with the same company. Companies are cutting costs by working from central hubs rather than smaller offices spread out over a larger area. This creates fewer employment opportunities outside major cities, requiring job seekers to move.
Outsourcing is another factor of globalization. An example is the car-building industry in the northeastern part of the country, where several factories were closed, and new ones were built in Japan. Those looking for work had to move as far as three or four states to find gainful employment to sustain their families.
Technological advances have thankfully opened the door to virtual meetings and project-sharing sandboxes to prevent the need for constant travel. However, only some things can be done from a distance. As more companies focus on global influence, families could be separated for long bouts of time, disrupting the family balance. As the world becomes smaller, our international influences can create a cultural shift in the family dynamic. New practices and cultural norms may be adopted by a parent who has moved frequently for work, and when they return, their children may not accept those changes. Reestablishing a relationship with their child could cause the child to refuse visits.
Dealing with interstate child custody cases can present a challenging and intricate situation. It is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced family lawyer, particularly when dealing with out-of-state family law issues, such as interstate custody, which we will be discussing more thoroughly below. For help in comprehending your legal options and rights, you can rely on Peter J. Bronzino and his legal team at The Bronzino Law Firm. Our experienced attorneys serve clients in Middletown, Manasquan, Holmdel, Barnegat, Red Bank, Berkeley, and towns across Monmouth and Ocean County. For a free consultation, call (732) 812-3102 to talk about your case.
Common Challenges in Interstate Custody Issues in New Jersey
Jurisdiction is the most common hurdle families have to deal with. Determining the jurisdiction of a custody case can be challenging. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (which will be explained in detail shortly) helps settle jurisdictional issues because it is a guide for knowing which state the case should be handled in.
When families create physical distance between them, frequently the emotional distance grows as well. The communication and coordination required to manage a family become detrimentally affected. Scheduling parenting time, making important decisions about the child’s health, education, and well-being. Other vital decisions, such as scheduling visits, vacations and coordinating special events such as birthdays and holidays, become increasingly difficult.
The enforcement of court orders, mediation, and court appearances across state lines can further complicate the process. If a parent chooses not to comply with the custody agreement or court order and they are living in a different state, it could require cooperation between courts in both states. Mediation or several court appearances may be required to settle custodial matters, and holding the non-compliant parent accountable can require paperwork, more money, and a lot of patience because each state deals with custody matters differently.
Managing the hassle of a parent who has moved out of state and is uncooperative can lead to alienation, which is when a parent intentionally sabotages the child’s relationship with the other parent. Children don’t always understand what is happening and can mistake frustration for anger. It is essential to speak civilly to and about the other parent to avoid harming your child irreparably, both emotionally and psychologically.
UCCJEA: Resolving Interstate Child Custody Issues and Jurisdictional Matters
Created in 1997 to resolve conflicts regarding children between parents who live in different states. It is a federal law applicable in 49 states, Washington DC, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It establishes several important terms such as “home state,” “emergency state,” and “relationship with others” as to how they relate to custody and other child issues.
According to the UCCJEA, the child’s home state is where the child custody cases should be heard. The home state is the last place where the child lived with the custodial parent for at least six months before any custody action occurred. If the child has not resided anywhere for at least six months, then the state where the child has ties with the community, such as their historical home, school, family members, and other factors that provide evidence of a relationship, including extracurricular activities, sports, and others. The emergency state is where the child lives due to safety issues. This new state can claim emergency jurisdiction to provide protection. If a child hasn’t lived in the same state for at least six months but has a close relationship with people in that state, that can also partially determine jurisdiction. These people may be grandparents, distant relatives, godparents, or family friends with whom the child has a close bond.
Would a Modification in a Custody Order Help in Interstate Matters?
When a custody decision is made, the courts in that state will continue to hear issues related to that case until either both parents have moved out of state or there is no longer anything that ties the child to the state in which the custody agreement was made. Another state can only make decisions on a new agreement if the original court relinquishes its jurisdiction. If there is an emergency, any court in any state can add orders to the original agreement while protecting the safety and well-being of the child.
How the Recovery Protocol for Child Custody Works in NJ
If there is a risk of harm or abduction, there is an immediate recovery protocol that can be used in combination with a warrant to obtain legal custody of the child. An enforcement hearing is held almost immediately after the complaint is filed, normally within 24 hours from when the court was notified, barring it falling on a weekend or federal holiday. At the hearing, the respondent only had three defenses: (a) the court’s lack of jurisdiction, (b) the custody order had been vacated, changed, or stayed, and (c) the respondent hadn’t been notified. The court must obtain testimony from the petitioner and another witness. The witness can testify in person or by phone. If the court believes the child could be harmed or taken to another state, a warrant is issued to take immediate custody of the child. The enforcement petition is submitted the next day, and a hearing is held to determine the next steps.
An Experienced Lawyer Can Make A Difference When Handling Interstate Custody Concerns
The intricacies of child custody laws can not only confuse but costly legal errors as well. If you want the best outcome for your family, you require a custody agreement covering all legal bases. If you want to move out of state, you may need to modify your custody order. Perhaps the other parent isn’t pleased with that decision and wants to prevent you from moving on with your life. A lawyer can negotiate an agreement that both of you can accept. By acting proactively, you can firmly establish a plan that will work for everyone involved.
Contact Our Sea Girt Family Lawyer for Guidance in Your Interstate Custody Matters
Deciding what is best for your child is rarely easy, especially when it comes to co-parenting from different states. The attorneys at the Bronzino Law Firm can help you decide what is right for your family in Brick, Manasquan, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Ocean Township, Toms River, Mantoloking, and neighboring towns. We can represent you and protect your child’s safety and future by keeping their best interests at the forefront of your choices.
We have worked in child custody for many years and understand how vital it is for you to have the support you require to make the tough choices. We treat our clients with respect, and we know that every case, and every child, is unique and has different challenges.
If your child has been moved to another state, or you or your co-parent are planning a move, there is no time like the present to get your custody agreement modified to meet your new circumstances. Call us at (732) 812-3102 to make a confidential appointment or fill out your information on our contact page, and we will be with you shortly.