Can I legally see my children before we go to court for child custody? 23 Answers as of February 14, 2011

My wife and I are going through a custody battle. We have yet to see a judge and she has taken the children out of state without my permission. She is not letting me see my children and is now stating that her lawyer is telling her to not let me see them. The court date is not for a few months, is there anything I can do to see my children before then?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Do you have a lawyer yet? If so, you should really tell him or her about the situation. What your wife is doing is objectionable and possibly in violation of standing orders. A local lawyer will know the local rules, and more details necessary to answer your question. That said, you stated there are no orders yet, that means that while there are no orders that you can enforce to make your wife let you see the kids, there are also no court orders saying you cannot see the kids. Or are there? Think carefully, has she filed for any type of restraining order or protective order? Again, if you have a lawyer, he should advise you on this.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 2/14/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
You can try going in for an emergency immediate order. Please contact us if you wish to discuss further; we have a free initial consultation. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 2/13/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Your issues would best be handled by experienced counsel. Consult with and retain a Family Law Attorney, preferably a Certified Family Law Specialist. You could file an Ex Parte Application, but it may be difficult or impossible to persuade a judicial officer that your situation is the sort of emergency that the Ex Parte process is intended to remedy. It could depend on the particular judicial officer who hears the matter, as well as the quality of the application. If your wife moved the children out of the state after filing the divorce case, or after being served, she would be in contempt of the Automatic Restraining Orders [ATROs] which appear on the back side of the Summons, but filing and serving contempt papers would likely delay other proceedings in your case. Advising the Court that your wife took the children out of the state in violation of the ATROs may be influential in Ex Parte proceedings.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/13/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Without a court order, custody and parenting time become a difficul tug of war. Both parents have equal rights to see the children. Unfortunately, most law enforcement agencies view it as a civil matter. That means the parent who has them in their care has greater rights. You must file for divorce or legal separation immediately. As part of that process you may seek a temporary hearing determining whether the children are returned to their original state. For A free consultation call us.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 2/11/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
I think you are in definite need of legal representation. From what you have told me, there doesn't appear to be a reason for it to take several months before a custody order is entered when she is denying you contact. Please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/11/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    If your wife has taken the children out of state, she could very well be in violation of an Oregon law that prohibits moving more than 60 miles away without prior notice. Without seeing the file and the paperwork, it is difficult for me to give to a direct answer, but I believe you would indeed have some recourse here. I would be happy to speak with you further, at your convenience.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    Yes you can, unless you pose a threat to your children's safety and well being. What she said about her attorney advising her not to let you see the children may not be true. You need to file the appropriate pleadings with the court to secure visitation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Froerer and Miles, P.C.
    Froerer and Miles, P.C. | Robert L Froerer
    Unless there's a restraining order or a protective order denying contact with your children, you have the right to see your children. In my state, you could file for a temporary order to determine yours and your wife's temporary rights as to custody, parent time visits, child support, etc. To get a temporary order typically takes 3-4 weeks, rather than months. She may be telling her lawyer that she thinks you'd take the kids if you got a visit. Maybe that's why the lawyer is telling her not to give you any visits(?).
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    Depending on what state you are in and she is in, you should go to the court for an ex-parte emergency hearing.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    You can file for an emergency order and have a hearing immediately. Children need to have frequent contact with both parents. So if one is keeping the kids away, the other needs to seek a court order for appropriate custody/visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Rice & Co., LPA
    Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
    Without a visitation order, you cannot compel your wife to permit you to visit. However, you can file a motion with the court to establish a temporary visitation schedule while the case is pending. If this is a divorce case, most courts have a mechanism for requesting temporary visitation and support orders under Civil Rule 75, and will ordinarily hold an expedited hearing to address the subject. If this is a juvenile court action, it may be more difficult to get an earlier hearing, but it still may be a possibility.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC
    Lori C. Obenauf LLC | Lori C. Obenauf
    Under Georgia law, if there is no court order preventing you from seeing your children, then you have equal rights to your children since you are still married. If there is a pending matter before the court, you can seek temporary temporary visitation rights and request a hearing to It is best if you retain a lawyer to assist you in the custody matter as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    Without a court order, not much can be done, but you can use it against her at court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Pisarra and Grist
    Pisarra and Grist | David T. Pisarra
    Absolutely ! Give her notice that you are going in on an Ex Parte basis ( check with a local attorney on the rules - each county has their own notice requirements) to get a visitation schedule in place. My book, A Man's Guide To Child Custody, can answer many of your questions and concerns. It is available for purchase on my website, as an ebook available for immediate download.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    I have reviewed your case information and I can help you see your children and take you through all the steps necessary to make as sure as can be that you give only what you must, and receive everything to which you are entitled.

    Since documents have been filed with the court it is very important that we speak as soon as possible, so I can evaluate your problem, and if hired protect all of your interests. It is quite obvious the mother and her attorney are "running you over" because you do not have legal counsel. You need to hire an attorney to solve your problem.

    You may find some helpful information on my website. The best way to contact me for an immediate response is for you to call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Yes, you should be allowed to see your children. Unless refusing you access to your children before the hearing is reasonable because, for instance, you are dangerous, violent, drug addict, etc, then her actions will backfire at the hearing. A parent has an obligation to promote a relationship between the children and the other parent. A parent who doesn't comply with such obligation can lose custody themselves. I strongly suggest you contact a local family law lawyer ASAP to help you with this matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If you are married, by law you are entitled to your kids just as much as she is as long as there are no court orders restricting your visitation. So, yes, you can see the kids.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, . but . without a court order specifically stating when you are permitted to exercise parenting time, nobody knows what your rights are so she basically has the upper hand - especially if she & kids are in another state. If she left the state after the court case was filed, she is probably in contempt of court and you may be able to get the court to order the children returned to Colorado. But, you need to properly inform the court of what has happened and maybe you can get an emergency hearing or move the court date up.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    I am assuming you have an attorney representing you. There are many other factors that could determine the outcome of the advise that is given to you and you should discuss this with your lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Naziri Hanassab LLP
    Naziri Hanassab LLP | Vahid Naziri
    Of course you can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Whoa, whoa, whoa! Not letting you see them?! This is far more serious than you seem to realize.

    Call the police. File a child abduction report right now. File an Ex Parte in your own local Court detailing the kidnapping. You will get orders from your local Court ordering the return of the children to California. You can travel to where your wife is with your Order and the local police will help you to retrieve your children. This is something you should have done the minute she left "without [your] permission", so get cracking. You really should take advantage of the free consultation offered by many experienced Family Law Attorneys in your jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Yes, there are things you can do and absolutely should do. You likely need to file an emergency ex parte motion and request the children be returned to their home state and that temporary visitation be established. Without knowing all your facts I am not sure what your chances are or exactly what to instruct you other than to say please see an attorney for guidance before this gets away from you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/11/2011
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