Can I leave the state with my child if I am leaving my husband?

My husband has a drinking problem for years and think Im finally ready to leave. We live in NJ and have an 11 year old daughter. I cannot afford to live here so am considering moving with family in PA. A friend I work with told me that I can’t leave the state with my daughter unless approved by a court but I haven’t filed for divorce yet.

Asked on December 12, 2017 under Family Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you or your husband has not yet filed for divorce, then as her parent, you can leave with your daughter and move to another state. Once you have established residency there, you can then file for divorce. However, your husband can file for divorce and temproary custody. If he does, then you must come back. If you don't, then you can be charged with parental kidnapping. At this point, your best bet is to file for custody of your daughter now before you leave. 

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