She Faked a Vacation to Take my Kids!
My wife and I have been having problems and have discussed divorce. We agreed to stay together to try to work things out. She had planned to go to California long before our problems to visit her mother. She has extended her ticket twice and will be gone a month instead of a week. Can she keep my kids in California permanently?
The short answer is No!
It is fairly common for a parent to try to relocate to another state by saying they are planning a vacation. The good news is that New Jersey law does not allow one parent to permanently remove children who are residents of the state without either the permission of other parent or a court order. The way the court will determines that your children are New Jersey residents based on a number of factors, e.g., they were born in New Jersey. They attend school in New Jersey. They consult with doctors and other professionals in New Jersey. New Jersey is very protective of its resident children. The bad news is that you only have six months to act. You must ask the court to compel your spouse to return the children to New Jersey. The California courts will enforce the New Jersey Order and compel the return of the children. However, if you wait too long, more than six months to ask the court to return the children, then California will claim them as residents leaving the New Jersey courts without the authority or jurisdiction to compel return of the children.