Q: My daughters mother has full sole custody, but in our custody agreement she is prohibited from leaving/ moving with my child without my consent, my daughter is 10 years old and is telling me she no longer lives in the home (NY)where she used to live in and now lives in( NJ), The mother will not disclose the address and continues to lie to everyone about where my daughter is living. Would this be considered kidnapping?
A: First, it’s not considered kidnapping as she has custody of the child. Second, assuming your agreement prevents relocations, then it would appears she’s violated the agreement – file an Enforcement Petition. Finally, I strongly disagree with the other attorney who opined that if the child has resided in NJ more than 6 months, you must file there. This is mistaking “home state jurisdiction” (which is where the 6-month rule derives from) versus NY having “continuing & exclusive jurisdiction” over subsequently-filed petitions – so long as NY was the state which issued the initial decree. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Child Custody attorney for a full assessment.