What should I do if my wife abducted my children in California? 10 Answers as of January 24, 2011

My common law wife of 23 years took our 6 year old son 600 miles away (in state) without my consent. I filed a missing persons report with the police and they have not responded. What should I do?

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Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
You need to go to court and obtain a court order to enforce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
California doesn't recognize "common-law" marriages, but I understand that you have a 6-year son with a woman with whom you were not married. You should hire a Family Law Attorney to file an action under the Uniform Parentage Act (commonly or formerly known as a Paternity case), and to file an Order to Show Cause for Custody and Visitation in that case, so that the Family Law Court can make appropriate orders to ensure that you are afforded frequent and continuing contact with your son.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
First, there is no 'common law' marriage in California. It was abolished by statue in 1895. Second, immediately file an Ex Parte Order to Show Cause, re: Custody, as part of your Paternity action, explaining the abduction. The Court will issue an Order for custody. You will then take the order to the jurisdiction where the child and his mother are located and call the police to enforce the custody order. You will be given custody of the child, and will then bring the child back to your jurisdiction. Act quickly, or she will file a paternity action in the jurisdiction in which she is now living, and you might be stuck litigating the matter 600 miles away.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2011
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
You need to take action immediately. If you wife has fled the state with your children the court will issue you an order for custody of the children.

You should contact an attorney to assist you with filing a petition for custody with your local court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/19/2011
Pisarra and Grist
Pisarra and Grist | David T. Pisarra
You need to file a paternity action and a UCCJEA declaration. Once the court has jurisdiction over the child they can make her bring him back.

You should check out my website where I have great information about child custody.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
    Law Office of John C. Volz
    Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
    California does not recognize a common law marriage. However each parent has a right to custody and visitation of the minor child. Police will generally not become involved unless you have a valid court order for custody and visitation.

    We are experienced in handling matters of parental abduction. Please contact our office if you would like our assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    You need to file a paternity/custody action and demand the return of your child ASAP. The longer you wait the less the court thinks you care. Also his roots get deeper in the new location with school, friends, and more - thus make the court reluctant to uproot him yet again.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    California is not a common law state. However, you can file a Paternity Petition and seek a custody order. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    It sounds like you need to establish parentage and your custody rights legally. You should file a petition for custody and get your rights established. Otherwise, the police won't do much without a court order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    We can file a court case for you and obtain a custody order for return of your child. Then, the police will help. As you know, without this order, the police could not care less. because a court has not blessed your fatherhood, you have no rights. I am prepared to help you right now.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/18/2011
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