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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29985
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I am a Marine stationed in NC my 17 year old son lives in NJ.

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I am a Marine stationed in NC my 17 year old son lives in NJ. We have NJ court order that states i get him from summer visits starting 1 july for a period of 6 weeks. I bought plane tickets and made plans for him to come visit however yesterday my son decided he did not want to come because he wants to more spend time with his friends in nj before his mom moves him to Florida. He did not got on the plane this morning!
Our order states that he cannot be relocated out of nj without a modification. When pointed this out to my Ex Wife she got mad and threatened not to allow parenting time. She still intends on moving him to Florida within the next month or so. She also states he is 17 so its up to him if he comes to visit or not. I am unsure why she wants to move as she refuses to talk to me about it. the only thing i was told was if i want to see him i must buy a return trip ticket to Tampa (i refused and bought the ticket as directed in the order to PHL) He will start his senior year of high school in aug andI feel it is not in his best interest to be moved.

1) How can i get my ordered visitation enforced without physically being present in New Jersey?

2) Can she get the order changed without me knowing or even being given the chance to address my concerns to the court? She stated last night she got it taken care of?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

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It sounds like you're aware of this, but your ex is completely wrong about the law here. She needs consent to move with the child out of New Jersey, and a child cannot decide where he wants to live at any age prior to 17. If your son would prefer to stay in New Jersey for the summer, she needed to convey that to the judge in advance. At the very least, the judge can order her to reimburse you for the plane tickets you bought.

1. You can file a petition for contempt of court without physically being present. If you cannot attend a hearing, then you can hire a lawyer to attend for you. Unfortunately, either you or someone on your behalf will have to appear at some point. Call around to see if you can find someone to go in this week and file papers for you and, if necessary, ask for an emergency hearing. A good place to start is

2. No, she can't. You have a right to notice and an opportunity to be heard. You may want to call the clerk of the court on Monday to see if anything has been filed. If so, ask them to send you copies of all of it. It's important to know exactly what's being going on in the case, and if she's filing documents behind your back, you can file a Motion to Vacate any orders entered as a result.

Also, interference with custody is a crime in New Jersey. N.J. Stat., Section 2C:13-4(a). You actually could call the police, ask them to pick up your son, and transport him to the airport to get on that plane. I don't necessarily know if that's the best course of action, but it is the law. Here is more information that might help.

If you are no longer in New Jersey, it is possible that the judge will allow the request to move out of state (especially because Florida is actually closer to where you are currently stationed). But she doesn't get to decide that for herself, and she's not allowed to just cancel your visitation because she's moving at the end of the summer. She has to either follow the court order, or have it changed (and tell you that she's having it changed).

Good luck.
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