Asked in Family Law for Puerto Rico

Q: I live in Puerto Rico with my daughter. I received a Family Court Summons from Bronx, NY.

I live in Puerto Rico. I was summoned to the Family Court in Bronx, NY, for custody/visitation. My main concern is why this case is going to be examined in NY if my daughter and I lived in PR for almost a year (since March 2021), and before that, she was born and we live in NJ. As per my limited understanding, NY doesn't have jurisdiction and the case would need to be viewed in PR. If this is the case, what steps can I take? Thanks in advance.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: Although you're residing in Puerto Rico for a year does grant Puerto Rico courts jurisdiction over your child, you should not ignore the summons from a New York court. I recommend that you contact an attorney authorized the practice of law in New York and have him or her counsel you regarding the summons. You should do this promptly, since Family Courts are strict against someone who, having been summoned, does not appear before the court. If the reason for the summons is the child's other parent filing an illegal custody action against you for having brought the child to Puerto Rico without the other parent's knowledge or consent, then it's imperative that you attend the summons to avoid an arrest warrant.

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