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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My childs father lives in another state, which happens to

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My child's father lives in another state, which happens to be the state of initial support/visitation custody. I legally moved with my child to another state. He did not contest and has had very little contact with her. He does not try to work with me in scheduling parenting time and claimed to the judge I was withholding her which was not true. Because of his unwillingness to cooperate with me on scheduling time, a judge had to become involved. In a hearing in May she set dates for my childs first summer visit ever with him. At that time, we did not know the exact start date of my child's school year. The judge set a potential end date of August 9th. However, the judge said in the hearing that it may need to be modified based upon the date my child was to start school. I notified him the start date was August 1st, and he was aware of it before coming to get her. However he has refused to give me any details about her trip home. In hindsight, I should've just not let her go and then just explain to the judge that he would not comply with the requirement of giving detailed travel information. However, I allowed her to go thinking he'd wise up during her stay and ensure she would be home before school started. However, that is not the case. He is not sending her back before school starts. He claims he can legally keep her and have her miss 3-8 days of school just because the order was written with a later date. He would rather jeopardize her education with unexcused absences and starting behind the other kids just to have some power over me. He is also still refusing to give me details surrounding her return. Since he is keeping her past her shool start date and is not giving me details, can I report this as parental kidnapping?

He also claims he is sending her home alone on an airplane. However, he is not giving me dates, and I did not consent to this. She is 9 and she only flew one time when she was 3.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Just to clarify, please, is he keeping her (or did he keep her) past the date that the court has authorized, or not?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
As the order was written, not exactly. The date that was set in the hearing in May was supposed to be a potential date pending information of her first day of school. The magistrate told me to notify him as soon as i had the information, which i did. So, he may not be keeping her past the potential date as far as I know, but she will be missing anywhere from 3-8 days of school. Also, he is withholding details of when and how she is to come home, which is a violation in itself. According to a standard visitation agreement in Ohio, he was supposed to supply me with detailed information before he even came to get her. If he puts her on an airplane, he will also be violating a standard Ohio requirement which is that if a parent is unable to transport the child, it must be a responsible adult well known to the child. She is only 9 and hasn't flown since she was 3.
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
Ah, I see. Thank you, K.

Can I report this as parental kidnapping?

Likely not, I am afraid. Kidnapping is also called "custodial interference" and in Ohio is covered under Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2919.23(A) and in Georgia under Ga. Code Ann. § 16-5-45(b).

However under both of these statutes, the parent keeping the child has to be doing so with the intent to not bring her back and to disrupt custody. Because this is an ongoing, confusing situation where the facts are subjective (he is not kidnapping her, but the two of you are in disagreement when to bring her back), I doubt that the prosecutor in either Ohio or Georgia would choose to prosecute here.

However, just because you cannot bring criminal charges does not mean that the issue cannot be forced. Because he has not informed you as necessary and because of his other actions such as withholding information, someone in your situation may wish to file for contempt in the family court. An example of it may be found here.

Contempt is how a party enforces orders, and he may be admonished, fined, or even imprisoned for his callous actions. The Court will also then clarify as to what dates should serve as custody transfer points, as well as what he can do in regards XXXXX XXXXX travel etc (simply bring this up at the hearing).

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I was afraid you would say that. Unfortunately there are a couple of hurdles to going the contempt route...1. I am disabled and cannot travel to Ohio for hearings, so the last 2 were done by Skype and/or telephone which of course means no transcripts. 2. He works for the prosecutors office and has for several years. He knows people in all the right places. The magistrate also refused to talk with the child which in my opinion was wrong. Ours isn't a case of ever being married or living together. I have always had sole custody. He has fought everything from day 1, gets away with paying half of the initial child support order, neglected her, and done everything nasty he can think of. All of a sudden there's a family reunion and he wanted her there. The whole situation really and truly is a mess.

Because of my disabilities and the conflict of interest in his jurisdiction is that sufficient grounds to have the visitation issues moved to my jurisdiction? When I very first moved a lawyer told me that visitation is supposed to follow where the child lives even though the child support was supposed to stay in the originating jurisdiction. Is that still the case in most states and if so would I need to file that from a Georgia court, or petition in Ohio to have the case moved?

There's nothing I can do that would be fast enough. I cannot believe he is able to interfere with her education legally. Regarding the airplane, the FAA regulations say that if you think your child has been put on an airplane without your consent to call the police. If I did that, in your opinion do you think it would make matters worse?
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
K,

Again, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

1. I am disabled and cannot travel to Ohio for hearings, so the last 2 were done by Skype and/or telephone which of course means no transcripts.

No one says that a contempt motion cannot be done via telephonic hearing, either.

2. He works for the prosecutors office and has for several years. He knows people in all the right places. The magistrate also refused to talk with the child which in my opinion was wrong.

You may wish to file a Motion to Recuse if you feel the Judge is not being impartial. If finances are an issue in getting counsel, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory/georgia.html

…and another list:

http://www.lawhelp.org

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

http://www.hg.org/law-schools-georgia.asp

Because of my disabilities and the conflict of interest in his jurisdiction is that sufficient grounds to have the visitation issues moved to my jurisdiction?

I am afraid not. The UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act) will only allow this once the child has lived in Ohio for 6 months or more AND has NO MORE TIES to Georgia (meaning the child does not visit there). Since he lives there and the child visits him, the jurisdiction is "stuck" in GA for now. No exceptions are made for individuals with mobility issues.

Regarding the airplane, the FAA regulations say that if you think your child has been put on an airplane without your consent to call the police. If I did that, in your opinion do you think it would make matters worse?

I do not think this is a wise idea. The regulations are meant for kidnapping matters, not for custody matters. So while it would not "harm" your case per se, it may prove pointless in filing this since as soon as the authorities realize that this is a custody matter, they will deffer to the Court.

Gentle Reminder: Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
The child does not live in Ohio. He does and thats where she is right now. The child has always lived with me. We lived in Ohio the first 2 years of her life and moved away from him almost 7 years ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
My apologies. I flipped the states around in my last reply. What I meant to state was:

"I am afraid not. The UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act) will only allow this once the child has lived in Georgia for 6 months or more AND has NO MORE TIES to Ohio (meaning the child does not visit there). Since he lives there and the child visits him, the jurisdiction is "stuck" in Ohio for now. No exceptions are made for individuals with mobility issues."

So even if the child has lived with you in Georgia for 6+ months, the child has to have no more ties to Ohio. Since she does by virtue of visitation, then the jurisdiction is "stuck" in Ohio for now.

UCCJEA has been adapted by both Ohio and Georgia.

In short, my answer stands as is in regards XXXXX XXXXX I wish I could state otherwise.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
This is the first time she has ever visited since we moved. Does that matter or does this mean that if I would've filed before this visit that we would've been able to move the case here?
Expert:  Ely replied 12 months ago.
K,

According to UCCJEA, once a state court has made a custody determination, that state keeps jurisdiction over all matters concerning that child, unless:

1. A court of the state with jurisdiction determines that the child or the child and a parent do not have a significant connection with the state, AND evidence concerning the child's custody determination is not available in the state; OR

2. A court of the state with jurisdiction, or any other state, determines that the child and both parents or acting parents do not reside in the state any longer.

Once a custody determination has been made, a court of another state does not have authority to modify the determination, unless the state with jurisdiction determines that it does not have jurisdiction as noted above, or any state court determines that the child, parents, and any acting parents do not reside in the state which has jurisdiction.

He lives there, and she just visited him. Also, I am guessing that if he continues to live there, she will visit him while temporary orders are in place. Ergo, I do not believe that the Judge would agree to relocate this to GA. I am trying to think of some maneuver where it would work, but I do not believe so, I am sorry...

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 86598
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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