Can my partner just take my son from me? 13 Answers as of June 11, 2013

If my partner and I split up can he just take my son as well without my permission? As he has threatened to take him if he leaves

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
The fact that you simply use the term "partner" raises more questions than answers. Is the "partner" a parent? Are you married? Has there been any judicial proceeding started to decide parenting rights? If your partner is not the child's legal parent, he can't legally do anything more than whatever a court order says he can do after it decides he is, in fact, the legal parent. If there is no court order and you are not married to him, he has no specific rights until a court says there some specific parenting rights. Just because he threatens something doesn't mean he would, or that he could do it legally. You ought to consult an attorney about how to best protect yourself and your son.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/3/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
I cannot tell from your question. If your partner has no custodial rights to the child then, no. If your partner has custodial rights, and you have custodial rights, either parent may take the child anywhere until a court says differently. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/3/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Two or three years ago, I would not have had to ask this question, but since a few states have instituted same-sex marriage, what do you mean when you say "partner"? Here is the simple part of this. If you and your partner are both parents of the child, then you both have equal access to the child and yes, your partner can take the child, unless there is a court order (temporary or final) that says otherwise. Now, if your partner is a step-parent who has not adopted your son, then your partner has no legal rights to the child when he leaves. If adopted, go back to the first statement, equal rights. If your partner is not biologically or legally related to your son - ie: does not share DNA (and your partner knows it) and has never been declared the child's father in a court of law; then it is kidnapping if he takes your son.

BTW: - a man who believes himself to be a biological father because he was in a committed relationship when the child was conceived and therefore is named on the birth certificate does not have to actually share DNA, he is assumed to share DNA until proven otherwise, that man can take the child because he is the father of that child by assumption of law. Again, a Court Order trumps everything.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/2/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Both of you have an equal right to custody, therefore neither of you will have any greater rights in regards to your child. The best course of action would be to file for custody before he leaves.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If your partner is a parent then you have equal parental rights absent a court order; however it would not be appropriate to remove a child from its residence without some type of prior arrangement.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/29/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer depends on whether the parent was adjudicated as the father of the child and whether any custody or parenting schedules have been established by a court. If they have not, the biological mother is the presumptive parent and the children cannot be relocated.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    When it comes to unwed parents, the *mother* is the one who automatically has full legal custody rights to the child. If he took the child without permission, that would amount to kidnapping (to a lesser degree). If he is the biological father, then the best thing for both of you is have custody established by the court.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Are each of you the legal parents of the child? If you are only the legal parent, then your partner has no right to take the child. If each are legal parents, then each has the legal right to the child. I would suggest filing immediately for custody and visitation orders to avoid a fight over who takes the child when you two separate. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No. taking a child away from another parent without mutual agreement is abduction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    If you do not have a custody order, then either person may take the child. If you suspect this may happen hire an attorney and file for custody and visitation now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    No. And you need some advice right now, to stop this disaster from happening.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/11/2013
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