Is it against the law for a husband to leave a marriage intending to get a divorce, take the two children and cross a state line to live.

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Is it against the law for a husband to leave a marriage intending to get a divorce, take the two children and cross a state line to live.

Asked on June 22, 2009 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Generally, in a situation where there is no court order concerning custody in place, you can move with the children.  But the parent left behind could win custody since they were abandoned.  The parent with the children at the very least needs to inform the other parent where they are and how to contact them.  If a divorce is filed,  the out-of-state parent may be forced to return or they may lose custody of the children.  It's even possible in some states to be charged with parental kidnapping. 

Note:  One state will enforce another state's orders on these matters pursuant to
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJEA).

You really need to consult an attorney in your area; since I am not licensed in Pennsylvania, there may be other state law governing this of which I am unaware.


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