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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102125
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I want to be able to stop my ex from taking my son out of state

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I want to be able to stop my ex from taking my son out of state we were never married whats the best way to get emergency custody until I can locate a good lawyer
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. Can you please tell me:

1) What county are you in; and
2) Do you plan to seek full custody, or just visitation?

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 4 years ago.

I live in frederick county maryland she lives with my son in philly not sure of the county I would want full custody

Thank you, R. Apologies in advance for the momentary wait while I am typing out your answer...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thank you, R.

If she lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then this is where the original jurisdiction for the child is in. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5401 et seq. Ergo, one would have to file where the child lives.

The way that this works is in the following:

1) Parent files the original petition for custody and with it, requests an ex parte order to have her remain in jurisdiction while the matter is heard;
2) The ex parte matter is heard on day of filing or soon after, without her even being served. If the Court sees this as an emergency, it will grant the ex parte restraining order and possibly emergency custody;
3) She is served formally (she can be notified prior of the ex parte order as well, of course) and then there will be a hearing down the line for temporary orders;
4) At the temporary orders, the Court will extend/drop/modify the restraining order of her leaving and any emergency custody, as well as assign temporary custody;
5) A few months down the line, the final hearing on the merits (i.e. trial) will determine the final custody decision.

The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.

One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.

Of course, that is the standard order of possession. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.

Ergo, someone in your situation may wish to file for an ex-parte custody order as part of the petition to establish custody. An attorney is recommended - this is not something that should be attempted one's self simply due to the nuanced legal steps that need to be taken. May I recommend the Philadelphia Bar Association's Lawyer Referral and Information Service - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

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