Q: My wife has taken our children out of state (from NE to AZ). Is there anything I can legally do to stop her?
A: Yes. If you file for dissolution and an ex parte motion for temporary custody, your spouse is very likely to be ordered to return the children to Nebraska as all 50 states have enacted some version of the UCCJEA. If you do nothing and six months passes, then the new state would likely be considered the children's home state and Nebraska would lose jurisdiction to decide custody issues. Your best bet is to immediately consult with an experienced custody & divorce attorney about your options. A consultation will let you confidentially share more specific facts and have the attorney evaluate your case with you. Best wishes in this difficult situation!
A: It depends on what you want to do and what her intentions are. If she has moved the children out of state (which we call "removal"), then you can file an action to ask the Court to order the children back to Nebraska. If she moved the children out of state without your agreement, the Court will generally order the children back to Nebraska in most situations if you file the action promptly after the move. If you also wish to be divorced, you would generally file this request within your divorce action. The Court would then ultimately decide if she gets to move the children out of state or if they must stay in Nebraska, as well as who has custody of the children, etc. When a spouse moves the children out of state promptly and without the other parent's permission, it is very important that you file your action promptly. The longer the children have to establish in the new state, generally the more likely it is that the Court will allow them to stay there.
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