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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4172
Experience:  30 years of experience
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I'm divorced and in our certified divorce papers the Judge

Customer Question

hi! I'm divorced and in our certified divorce papers the Judge crushed out the custody of my daughter. he instead wrote "since the child resides primarily outside of NYC, this court shall make no determination as to the custody of the parties' child or the visitation, except to cite that the mother is entitled to child support." 2 yrs ago when we filed the divorce my daughter have been living with her for a yr. we have been separated since my daughter was barely 2 yrs old. so the physical address of our daughter was with her. since last yr my daughter have been pleading that she wants to go back and live with me. she tried talking to her mom and it always end up to her mom threatening me through my kid and it will make my daughter back off and not assert further because my daughter said it makes her uncomfortable and scared that her mom threatens me. last february my daughter ask me to talk to her mom to let her move back with me and that did not end well. we all end up fighting. everytime my daughter tries to convince her again she will shut her down right away. she would tell my daughter that she has full custody of her and that she is supposed to stay with her no matter what. i feel bad for my daughter. i even tried to talked to my daughter and convince her that she might just been adjusting and that she give her mom a chance but my daughter is already fixed with moving back to me no matter what. specially when my ex wife showed her a draft that she made it look like it was official. put the certified copy's cover paper on the the top of the draft so that it would make it look like certified and official. we both know thats not the official court order for the divorce because i have the same copy and mine is still intact. i picked my daughter up from their house and when its time to go back my daughter did not want to go back. she texted her mom that she don't want to go back. i cannot force my daughter to go back to the place where she told me not only once but several times that she feels unsafe. so i did not bring her back. my ex was to angry that she threatened to consult a lawyer. i just want to know what should i do. my daughter is still with me right now. did i break any law? i don't want my kid in a place she feels unsafe.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.

Hello,
Thank you for using Just Answer. Please bear with me while I review your question. I will respond fully shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
okay. thank you
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for your patience and thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

There is a law that has been adopted by all the states that is called the Uniform Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Under this law the state that issued the original custody decree has Jurisdiction to determine Custody and the sister states are supposed to honor that determination.

In you situation the Court (perhaps wrongly) refused to determine Custody. Since the is no Custody Order that specifically established a parenting plan or custody and visitation plan, then there is no Order to enforce. You are therefore not breaking any law by keeping your child.

However, it is very important for you to establish a Custody Order as soon as you can. If you do not return your child it is likely that your Ex may go to Court to file false charges against you. Even if unwarranted you will need to respond to such charges.

It would be beneficial to you and your child for you to take the initiative and file a Petition to Modify the existing Order. Alternatively, you may try to seek an Order in the State where you reside, but there could be a problem if the State resists asserting that under the UCJEA that the original state still has jurisdiction.

This link describes the Act in detail:

https://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/jacobs.html

You can use this link to find a local family law attorney to help you:

http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/family-law/florida

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow-up questions, feel free to ask.

If you ask a follow-up question and I do not respond immediately, it is because I am temporarily unavailable. I promise to respond as soon as I return. Please note that I am often unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

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Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
i have to go to the lawyer as soon as possible then have them help me file a petition to modify existing order? I'm going to bring my daughter to a counselor also. she is having panic attacks and i sometimes see that her mind is always floating somewhere else. everytime i ask her she will tell me "i feel scared that mommy will do something to you". I'm afraid that this situation will give my child psychological problems in the future.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
from what i understand since our last state has jurisdiction towards the said case, we file the petition there? even if we are a resident of Florida now?
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.

Hello:

Yes, you really want to see an attorney to help you with this. I understand the reluctance, but your child's welfare is most important.

Yes, the State that issued the original Order currently has Jurisdiction under the UCJEA. The thing to try to do is to get the NY Court to release Jurisdiction to Florida. That can be done. Since the NY Court originally failed to establish a Custody plan it may be that the Florida Court would be willing to assert Jurisdiction directly. BUT ther normal situation is to file in the original Court and seek Transfer to the new State.

Kind regards,

Gerald

(Please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.

Also see this article for more detailed information on this type of situation:

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/a-step-by-step-guide-to-florida-s-uniform-child-custody-jurisdiction-and-enforcement-act-uccjea-

Good luck.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 2 months ago.

I would start in Florida and argue that there is no existing Custody Order, since the original court refused to issue one. Then if necessary go to the NY Court to seek the Transfer to the Florida Court.