What do I do if the father of my children is trying to take them away? 38 Answers as of April 02, 2012

I've been with the father of my children for 3 years, but now we are not together and he is trying to take my kids. What do I do?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Has he filed a Motion to Modify or Motion to Establish Parentage? Both a Mother and Father have equal rights. It is a false belief that Mom gets the kids and Dad just visits, the Court must decide what is best for the kids, so if he has filed a Petition (sued you for custody) you have to get a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 4/2/2012
Law Offices of Jayson A. Soobitsky, P.A. | Jayson A. Soobitsky
File a Petition for Custody. Seek the advice of an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 3/30/2012
Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
File in court and get a visitation and schedule.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/29/2012
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
You need to seek an attorney that has experience in custody and visitation cases, and file a petition for custody in the proper court. If the parents cannot agree on custody, the court will decide on the parties' rights and responsibilities for their children, including physical custody, child support, etc.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/29/2012
PRINCIPLE LAW GROUP | GEORGE TROVATO
Need to file for paternity if you were never married to him.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/29/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    File a petition fit custody of the children, so you can get a court custody and parent time order. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/29/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Hire an experienced family law attorney to file your paternity petition and a motion to have custody of your children. Consider as well a request for child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    You don't say whether you are married or single. An unmarried mother in Arkansas is deemed to have sole custody of her child(ren), the unmarried father would have to file a petition for Paternity and Visitation to get his rights established, getting custody would be more difficult if he cannot prove neglect or that you are in some way not a fit parent. If you are married you should file for divorce and sole custody as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Apparently you were not married to the father and there has never been a court case to decide how to allocate parental rights. If that is true, the father does not have any specific legal rights and therefore has no legal authority to "take the kids". If he does, you should contact police to investigate what will probably be possible kidnapping. You should consult an attorney for assistance in pursuing legal action to have a court establish a detailed parenting plan that spells out each parent's legal rights, authority, and responsibilities. Until there is a court order, there is no clear set of rules in your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You go to court and get orders for custody so you know what time you have and what time he has.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Fox Law Firm LLC
    Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
    You need to file a petition for custody. Questions I need answered is 1) why is he trying to take the children; 2) Does he deem you unfit; 3) is he trying to remove them out of state amongst other questions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    File a petition with the court to determine paternity and parenting rights. Take immediate action
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    You need to get an Order or Judgment from the Chancery Court that awards custody of the children to you. To do that you would file a Petition with the Chancery Court and have the father served with a Rule 81 summons to appear in Court to defend against your Petition or Complaint. The details of what you need to put in the Petition are too complicated to go in to here, so I advise you to find a good attorney to handle this for you.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Attorney at Law | Steven E. Ferguson
    You would need to file an action to determine or confirm his paternity and ask for custody of the children in that proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    Are you married? Were these children born out of wedlock? If they were born out of wedlock, the father would have to file a legitimation suit in order to have any claim of legal custody for these children.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    If you were never married to the father of your children, and he never legitimated them as provided by law, he has NO rights in Georgia to custody or even visitation. If he took them from you under those circumstances, he would be charged with kidnapping.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    The first thing you should try to do is work with him on a fair and equitable parenting plan that maximizes the time available to each parent. If this is unsuccessful, ask if he will go to a neutral mediator to help work out a plan. In the absence of any cooperation to work out something fair, you should seek legal counsel because now the Court will get involved to make an Order in the Best Interests of the children.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Shenberg Law Group, LLC | Alan M Shenberg
    Depends if you are married to the father or not. If not married and father is not legitimized, then file for kidnapping. If married, file for divorce and show that the best interests of the children are to stay with the mother.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    You need to see a lawyer and get at least a temporary order for custody. It is not clear whether you and the father were married, but regardless unless there is an order relating to custody, either parent has a right to have the children so you need to get an Order in place.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    If married, file a petition for dissolution of marriage. if not married, file a Petition for a residential schedule and set child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    You need to file an Order to Show Cause for a custody schedule and/or prevention of abduction orders. If you are not married, you will also need a parentage action. Dad is not allowed to just "take" the children; if you have a warranted fear (if he has thretened to do that) then file a police report. The family law facilitator (located at your local courthouse) can help you fill out the appropriate paperwork. You can also look online at www.courts.ca.gov If there is anyway you can swing it, then go consult a Family Law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    You go to the Probate Court in the county where you live and file a Complaint for Separate Support, Custody and Visitation requesting joint legal and sole physical custody of your children with parenting/visitation for the father and also requesting child support to be paid by father to you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    Get a lawyer. File to get a custody order with a court-sanctioned parenting plan.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Petition the court for custody.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    SHAPIRO LAW GROUP | ERIC L. SHAPIRO
    If this is a Georiga matter and he has not been legitimated, then he has no rights to the children. If he has been legitimated, and a custody Order is in effect, the Order will govern.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Not exactly sure what you mean when you say take them away. Do you mean he is trying to abduct them, that he wants the to live with him primarly and grant you visitation, or that he wants them part time with them living with you primarly. Based upon your above responses, different steps may be required. A custody and visitation order is likely needed on your case, regardless of the above questions.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    You may file to establish paternity and to obtain child custody and child support. You would file that action in the Superior Court of the county in which you live in Arizona.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A review of your case would be necessary to determine what the circumstances of your case may be. If no custody order has previously been entered, Courts make custody determinations based on what the court believes is in the child's best interests. In most cases, the court will award primary physical custody to one parent while the other will have a parenting schedule. The court will consider any relevant facts in making a custody determination including 13 specific factors outlined in Minnesota Statutes. Your case should be carefully framed to address each of the relevant statutory factors to be effective. If a previous custody order was entered, the standard of review is elevated. Generally speaking, to meet the threshold for a change of custody, the child must have been integrated into your home as the custodial parent with the other parent's consent; OR you must demonstrate that the child is endangered physically, emotionally or developmentally in the current custodial situation AND that the benefit of a change in custody outweighs any harm caused by the change. Meeting such standards requires painstakingly documenting issues and crafting moving papers that address the correct standard. I have over 20 years of family law experience in such matters.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Michael E. Stowell, Attorney at Law | Michael E. Stowell
    You need the assistance of an attorney to file the appropriate action and get a temporary order establishing the residential placement of the children as soon as possible. If you are not married to the father then a parentage action or simply a petition for establishment of a parenting plan are two possibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC
    Goddard Wetherall Wonder, PSC | Brook Goddard
    You need to start what is called a parentage proceeding, which will establish an official parenting schedule (as well as child support if you wish). Once a parenting plan has been entered with the Court, the father will not be able to take your children from you except for parenting time during expressly delineated dates and times.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    You should file a Parentage Action ("paternity') to obtain court orders re a residential schedule and parenting plan, and to determine child support. Absent a court order establishing ground rules and a schedule, the risk of conflict is high.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Kiske Law Office, LLC | Anne Kiske
    You should file a paternity action and obtain a court order detailing the custody and visitation plan, as well as child support. You should be prepared to ask the lawyer you hire whether there is any temporary custody orders available from the court where you live.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Cervizzi & Associates Attorneys at Law | Suzana Urukalo
    If you were never married to the father of your child, and you have never been to court regarding the care and custody of your children, then absent a court order you are presumed to be the custodian of the children. You should file a complaint for custody and support with your county's family and probate court.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    McIlveen Family Law Firm
    McIlveen Family Law Firm | Angela McIlveen
    Child custody in NC is based on what is in the best interest of the children.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/28/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    Get an attorney and file an expanded protection order and petition for dissolution as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/28/2012
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