Can my son's mother take him without custody arrangements? 4 Answers as of March 01, 2017

She picked him up on Friday and is refusing to return him home. He has lived with me for the last 5 years and she was in and out of his life. She moved 2 hours away and is refusing to let him come home. Can I show up at her house and wait until they come out and tell him to get in the car and come home without legal ramifications as long as I don't force him?

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The Gufford Law Firm, P.A.
The Gufford Law Firm, P.A. | Joseph Gufford
The answer to your question depends on whether or not there are any child custody orders in place. If there are no such orders in place then it is well settled law that custody of a child born out of wedlock is with the mother until further order of the court. If there is an order in place, then the answer is to enforce it. If there is no such order in place, then the answer is to get a temporary order in place and then a permanent one.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/1/2017
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
If you have never had your legal rights as the father adjudicated in court, then the answer is NO, you cannot just go and get him. In Florida, custody defaults to the Mother until your rights as the legal father are established by a Judge. Only then do you have equal rights with the Mother. You need to hire an attorney and file an action to establish your legal rights after which custody and visitation will be determined.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/28/2017
Ronald L. Bornstein, P.A. | Ronald L. Bornstein
Generally, in the absence of a court order establishing paternity, you don't have any legally recognized rights with respect to the child. However, the fact that he has been residing with you for the last five years will help you with your majority timesharing claim, but you need to file a paternity action and an action for return of the child under Florida's relocation statute as soon as possible. Do not just show up and take the child, it could result in your arrest and other complications. Consult with an experienced attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation and your options.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/28/2017
R. Jason de Groot, P.A
R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
Have you filed a paternity case? You might want to think about doing that. Yes, she can take him without custody arrangements, and no you cannot do as you ask without legal ramifications.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/28/2017
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