Can I get into trouble if I leave my spouse with our children? 18 Answers as of April 27, 2011

If I want to leave home with my 2 boys ages 6 and 10, can I get into any trouble? My wife is abusive and talking and meeting other men. What do I need to do? The only reason I am still there is the childeren until school is out. She has said she wanted us all out. Can you give any advice?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Do you want my personal or professional opinion?

Lets start with personal - take your boys, leave her, and file for divorce. As for professional opinion - it is not that different from the personal one. Take your kids and leave. Gather up the documentation you will need, copies of bank records, etc. If you want to, it is helpful to grab a video camera and walk through the house, this is a quick inventory. Create copies of information that you have (pictures, texts, e-mails, phone messages, etc. that show she is "talking and meeting other men". Then, right before you leave, move your paycheck to an account she does not have access to.

Speaking of accounts, use the money in the joint account to get yourself and the boys set up in an apartment or house - deposits, utilities, etc. Do not turn off the utilities at the house where your wife lives, but try to remove your name from them. Same for credit cards - do not cut off her credit but do try to split them, call the cards, tell them you are going through a separation and divorce, ask them to lower credit limits or remove your name from the authorized user on the account and if it is your account remove her as an authorized user. Ask joint credit card accounts to split the account into two accounts, transfer half the balance to each (this is a long shot but occasionally, you get lucky). Otherwise, ask the credit cards to "close the accounts at creditor's request and allow no further transactions." You will pay the balance as agreed. (This keeps the account open so you can pay it off, but does not let her use the credit accounts to run up bills in your name.) Do not touch, close or affect any credit cards/accounts in her name - other than to remove yourself as an authorized user. Last but not least, hire a lawyer sooner rather than later and start the divorce proceedings.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/27/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Each parent has equal rights to have the children in their care without some court order to the contrary. The end result is a rather difficult tug of war with the children between parents until a court can hold a hearing on the matter.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If your wife asked you and your children to move out, you should not get in trouble for cooperating with her request. But why doesn't she move out? That would be easier for you and your children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
You and your spouse may agree that you can move out with your children. You may also seek to move out and petition for orders for custody of the children.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/24/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
While married, both parties have equal rights to the children, so you have as much right to take your kids somewhere as she does. You may want to try to build your divorce case against her before departing. If she really wants you all out, get her to commit in writing to that before departing. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/22/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Move out, file for divorce. Please contact me for a free consultation if you are in my area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    The best advice is to get to a divorce attorney. What a mess. She wants you all out, you and the children? Good Lord. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Attorney Paul Lancia
    Attorney Paul Lancia | Paul Lancia
    You need to speak to a lawyer to understand your rights. Call me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    I encourage you to contact our office to set an appointment for a free consultation to discuss this delicate matter in a more private setting.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Consult with an attorney about your options. He or she will have to examine the basis you might have for ex parte orders and consider thetactics of when to file given your long term strategic goal. These are big steps and you need professional advise with someone who can havea prolonged discourse with you. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If there are no court orders pertaining to your children in effect, you are free (legally) to leave with them and the only "trouble" will be related to how the children react and what your wife chooses to do. Until there is a court order defining each parent's rights and authority, each parent has equal legal authority and the "trouble" relates to how emotions affect behavior. Whether you and your wife live together or not, the best situation for the children is for both parents to be involved in parenting (without conflict). Until there is a court approved parenting plan adopted in connection with a divorce, you should base your conduct on trying to avoid conflict that will impact upon the children.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Protect yourself and your children. If you cannot get her to move out or kick her out by court order, than you should consider moving out with the kids. Call an attorney before you make this very big decision to talk it through in detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Very tough situation. Either have other family members watch the kids or hire someone.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Neither of you have superior custody rights. You would have to either agree to live separately or go to court and obtain the appropriate orders. If you need assistance let us know.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/22/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    It would be best to file for divorce or legal separation, and request custody/visitation orders as part of that process. You can also request custody/visitation orders without filing for divorce or legal separation. Best to call a local family law lawyer to discuss the particular facts of your case and develop a plan of action. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/22/2011
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