I was granted temporary custody with my restraining order. Can I take my kids out of the state?
Maybe. It may depend on the exact wording of the custody provision in your domestic violence restraining order. You may have to first seek the permission of the judge before leaving. If the abuser was granted visitation rights with your children, then you may have to have the order changed, or show the court that there is a fair and realistic alternative to the current visitation schedule.
To read more about custody laws in the U.S. Virgin Islands, go to our VI Custody page.
If you are unsure about whether or not you can take your kids out of the state, it is important to talk to a domestic violence advocate or lawyer who understands domestic violence and custody laws, and can help you make the safest decision for you and your children. You can find contact information for local domestic violence organizations and legal assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands area on our VI Places that Help page.
I was granted temporary custody with my restraining order. Will another state enforce this custody order?
Yes. Custody, visitation, and child support provisions that are included in a domestic violence restraining order can be enforced across state and territory lines. Law enforcement and courts in another state are required by federal law to enforce these provisions.1
1 18 USC § 2266