What are my child custody rights if my ex does not bring my kids back into the state? 17 Answers as of May 26, 2011

If I give my ex wife permission to take our children over state lines to visit family - what happens if she doesn't bring them back? What are my rights?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
If she is violation of the custody order, then you can file to have her held in contempt of court.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/26/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
You can seek orders to have them returned, including a writ of habeus corpus if necessary. You must move quickly though so Washington doesn't lose jurisdiction. good luck.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/26/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
Let's assume Oregon law for our purposes: The answer depends on what kind of custody order, if any, is currently in place. In any event, if your ex wife takes the children and does not return them, there may be a remedy in the Oregon statutes for what is called a writ of assistance where an existing order or judgment is enforced. Therefore the current custody judgment is an important start for my analysis. Call if you have questions or you need to take action in court.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/26/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
I am assuming you have some sort of court ordered custody agreement. If you do, then your resort is to the court to file motions. Connecticut Courts, absent unusual circumstances, will order the children back.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/26/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
That depends in part on what the existing custody order requires. If she has violated the terms of that order, she could be held in contempt of court. However, you may need to go to where she is to actually enforce the custody order.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/26/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    Be very careful. Are you two already subject to a parenting plan, since you state she's your ex wife? If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation consultation-by phone or in person-about this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If there is a custody and visitation order and she refuses to return with the children, then she has abducted them. The first contact would be to the District Attorney's Office Child Abduction and Recovery Unit. Her actions would be a crime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    A parent's rights in such a situation are going to depend if there is a judgment and decree in place that governs the children or if there is some other order that awards the parent parenting time. If the parent has been awarded parenting time, it is a rather serious crime for the other parent to deny the parent that parenting time. The applicable statute is Minnesota Statute 609.26. Subdivision 1. Prohibited acts. Whoever intentionally does any of the following acts may be charged with a felony and, upon conviction, may be sentenced as provided in subdivision 6: (1) conceals a minor child from the child's parent where the action manifests an intent substantially to deprive that parent of parental rights or conceals a minor child from another person having the right to parenting time or custody where the action manifests an intent to substantially deprive that person of rights to parenting time or custody; (2) takes, obtains, retains, or fails to return a minor child in violation of a court order which has transferred legal custody under chapter 260, 260B, or 260C to the commissioner of human services, a child-placing agency, or the local social services agency; (3) takes, obtains, retains, or fails to return a minor child from or to the parent in violation of a court order, where the action manifests an intent substantially to deprive that parent of rights to parenting time or custody; (4) takes, obtains, retains, or fails to return a minor child from or to a parent after commencement of an action relating to child parenting time or custody but prior to the issuance of an order determining custody or parenting time rights, where the action manifests an intent substantially to deprive that parent of parental rights; (5) retains a child in this state with the knowledge that the child was removed from another state in violation of any of the above provisions; (6) refuses to return a minor child to a parent or lawful custodian and is at least 18 years old and more than 24 months older than the child; (7) causes or contributes to a child being a habitual truant as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 19, and is at least 18 years old and more than 24 months older than the child; (8) causes or contributes to a child being a runaway as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 28, and is at least 18 years old and more than 24 months older than the child; or (9) is at least 18 years old and resides with a minor under the age of 16 without the consent of the minor's parent or lawful custodian.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    Under Minnesota law, if you were awarded parenting time, your children cannot be moved out of state without your permission or a court order, unless you agreed otherwise in your divorce case. However, you need to consult and hire an attorney, who can assist you in enforcing the terms of your divorce decree.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If she takes them out of the state on false pretenses and fails to return them, you can file an Order to Show Cause to modify Child Custody to request that custody of the children be awarded to you. If you prevail, you'll need to retain an attorney in the state and county where the children are, to file an action to enforce the California Order and have the Sheriff take possession of the children. You would need to go to andbe in that state to receive the children from the Sheriff.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Federal laws assist states in bringing children back to their home states to enforce divorce and child parenting agreements. Usually the process is to file a motion to show cause because the other parent has violated the parenting agreement. But there are a lot of questions I have about your question. Did the court limit out-of-state time? Has your ex taken the children before out-of-state? Why are you concerned about having the children returned? You need to take your concerns to your counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There are kidnapping laws that would come into play.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Your rights do not change just because the kids went to Oklahoma or some other state. Your rights are your rights. There are federal laws too, so don't worry so much about it. That said, if she does not bring them back, do not sit back and do nothing. Enforce your visitation rights, seek enforcement in court, and if necessary, file a writ of attachment (the Judge issues a writ for the kids, this is a last resort cure, since the Sheriff literally goes and gets the kids and brings them back). Again, your rights do not change and there are tools available to get the children back in Texas if necessary. But you have to pursue those rights. Do not fall for the trick of "we just want to stay a couple months". The general rule is that if she keeps the kids in another state for 6 months, she can seek court orders there. Do not sit back and do nothing. Too many men lose custody fights because they wait.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, your residential time is governed by a parenting plan which you can deviate from by agreement). If she fails to follow it, she can be found in contempt.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    The permission that you give your ex should be in writing and include a time frame for their return. If she violates the permitted time frame, she could be found in contempt of court. HOWEVER, if you feel that she may not bring the children back, then you shouldn't give her permission to take them in the first place! To prevent this, you will need to contact the Passport agency to let them know about the situation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/25/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    If you reduce your agreement to writing and file it with the court (i.e., a "stipulation and order"), then she will be violating court orders if she doesn't comply with the terms about returning the children.. Meaning, your will have more recourse and it will be easier to retrieve the children with that court order in hand.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/25/2011
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