What are a fathers parental rights? 12 Answers as of April 05, 2011

My wife and I live together. She took my kids 7 days ago, and I havent heard or seen from them. Can she be prosecuted if we are still married?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Unless there is a court order denying her possession or telling her not to hide or secret the kids, she has done nothing illegal. Keep in mind, this is a two way street. I am not telling you to find and snatch the kids, but she cannot prosecute you for taking them either. You are both parents and until the Court determines which parent has the right to establish domicile, you have equal rights. You do not have less rights just because you are Dad. Let me say that again, a father's rights are identical to a mother's rights in every shape, form, fashion and respect unless and until a court says otherwise. It is a common misconception that that Mom has some superior rights to the kids, particularly in Texas. We use the Best Interest of the Children rule when we decide who gets what rights and we also assume that both parents get equal rights - with a few minor exceptions. There is a presumption that one parent will establish residence but hat does not have to be designated. Please contact me if you live in Dallas or Collin county. I will be happy to give you more direct information tailored to your situation.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/5/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
As difficult as it may seem to believe, there is no difference in "parental rights"between women and men. The law doesn't distinguish or grant more rights to one gender over the other. It often seems that way to men who go though the court system because the court is charged with determining a parenting plan which often involves finding out who has been the primary caretaker and for various historical, sociological and economical reasons is often the female in heterosexual relationships.It is often assumed or believed that the primary caretaker should continue to perform that role. To answer your question, you could make a complaint with the police department/prosecutor in your county but probably little will happen. Partially, because of budget cuts (no one likes to pay taxes) prosecutors have to prioritize what they prosecute and if there is criminal activity here, it is a low priority compared to other criminal behavior partially because such disputes are often better handled in family court. I suggest you seek the advise of an experienced family law attorney in your area to assess your rights. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/4/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If the child was born during the marriage, each parent is presumed to have equal rights to care for the child and to have custody. However, without a court order, the result is an untenable tug of war where the parent who has the child in their care often has the upper hand. You must file for custody, legal separation or divorce in order to have the matter heard regarding custody and parenting time.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/4/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Your best bet is to contact the police right away and see if they will put out a bulletin to arrest her, however, I don't think they'll do anything just yet. However, at least a police report should be filed. After that, you should contact a matrimonial attorney about your rights. You have equal rights to those of your wife's regarding the children. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/4/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Either parent has a right to the children while married... You could do the same thing.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 4/4/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    At this point neither of you has superior rights to the kids absent court order. However at this point they may be considered missing persons such that you may wish to contact the police. You can also apply for an emergency custody order to get them back if appropriate. Contact us if you wish to discuss further. Good luck to you.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    I would suggest contacting the District Attorney's office Child Abduction and Recovery Unit. You may also need to file for at least custody and visitation orders. If you are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/1/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If your wife removed your children from California for the purposes of depriving you of your parental rights, she can be prosecuted under Federal and California statutes. You should make an effort to determine where your wife took the children, perhaps hire a private investigator. If your marriage has broken down, you should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file a divorce case in California, without delay. Under the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act, California is the proper state to file to seek custody and visitation orders regarding the children. After the children have resided in another state for six months, the state in which they have so resided will become the appropriate state for such matters. Don't delay pursuing your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you know that she and your child are not missing, then as part of your divorce, you can seek sole custody orders based on mother abducting your child. I would suggest you call the police and file a report of abduction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    She will not be prosecuted and she will likely be given custody unless you act now. You need to file your action and let the court know you do not think this is best for the kids to be away from their father. You will not get what you do not ask for.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/4/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    You should call the police. Depending on the circumstances, a crime may have been committed. After speaking with the police, you should contact a family attorney in your area and figure out how best to protect your parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/4/2011
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