Who has custody?
Did you know that until there is a custody order, technically no one has custody of your child?
So what does that mean? It means that until you have a custody order from the Court, the father or mother of the child can take the child and refuse to allow the other parent to see the child. Now when I say take, I simply mean if the child lives with dad and mom picks up the child for a visit and refuses to return the child, dad has no recourse except to file a Motion and wait approximately 30 days before you return to Court. That means if you call the police and tell them that mom refused to return your child, the police cannot go and order her to return your child. Why? Because there is no custody order from a Court.
Now, this only applies if mom keeps the kid in New Jersey. Regardless of whether there is a custody order, neither party can move out of the State of New Jersey without the permission of the other parent or the Court.
What can you do to prevent this?
Get custody immediately! I realize that many times, parties reach an agreement or do not feel the need for court intervention. But if things start getting ugly, or have always been, you should go to the Court to get custody established. It will save you headaches in the future!