Law & Legal & Attorney Children Law

How to Have New Jersey Acknowledge Legal Custody of My Child Who Lived in Pennsylvania

    • 1). Find any custody orders for the child from the child's current state of residence. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act grants the court for the child's primary county of residence the responsibility of deciding custody matters for that child; New Jersey recognizes this law and therefore must recognize such an order. In the absence of that order, you may still be able to use an order from a court for the county with the greatest number of records on the child. The law assumes that county to have been significant to the child and therefore to have some justification in making decisions over his welfare. If no other option exists, you can ask the courts of the county of your current residence to make something called a vacuum judgment in the absence of any other records whatsoever.

    • 2). Call for an expedited enforcement hearing in the event of a threat to the child. According to New Jersey law, you will simply need to show the existing custody order and evidence of the threat, along with a request for the specific solution sought for that situation. New Jersey is legally bound to enforce the custody determinations of other states, even in the absence of threat, without changing them, and it has, in fact, defined the failure to abide by another state's custody determination as a form of abuse. Calling for the hearing, however, will give the court a reason to make a specific declaration on the matter. The intent of New Jersey's laws is to join in an effort to foster greater uniformity in custody enforcement across the country, and so the state will be under at least some obligation to recognize the rulings of a Pennsylvania court.

    • 3). File a complaint against the specific police officers failing to enforce the custody order. To do so, you can go through the Office of Professional Standards by either calling it at 877-253-4125 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or visiting it at 810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 310 in West Trenton. You can also write to either the superintendent of state police at: P.O. Box 7068, West Trenton 08628-0068, or to the director of the office of law enforcement professional standards in the Department of Law and Public Safety, P.O. Box 080, Trenton 08625.

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