What Happens When a Custodial Parent Relocates a Child Without Permission?

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“I have read about the subject of relocating with a child in Florida, How the courts make the decision and so forth. But my question is, what happens if the mother takes off with the child with no warning or consent from the father, across the U.S.?
Is this illegal? Will authorities bring the child back to Florida? Is there something I need to do to keep the mother from leaving with the child? I am the secondary residential parent with visitation and the court order states nothing of relocating.:

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You need to consult with a family law attorney in Florida. However, generally speaking, if a custodial parent takes a child away such that the non-custodial parent is unable to exercise their court-ordered parenting time (visitation), then the custodial parent is in violation of the court order, and may be guilty of parental kidnapping. In such a case, the non-custodial parent should be able to get an emergency court order transferring custody to them, and ordering that the child be returned to them.

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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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