• What is kidnapping?

    Date: 08.16.07 | by Judge Tom.

    Kidnapping is defined as knowingly restraining someone with a specific intent to do something. This may be to collect a ransom, use a person as a hostage, or have someone do involuntary work. Other intentions may be to injure a person or to interfere with the operation of an airplane, bus, train, or other form of transportation.

    Kidnapping may be a felony, depending on the circumstances. If someone is convicted of kidnapping, it′s not uncommon for that person to receive a jail or prison sentence.

    Photo by Steve Weazer

    Custodial interference, sometimes called parental kidnapping, happens when one parent keeps a child from the other parent who has legal custody. Statistics indicate that over 350,000 children are kidnapped by family members every year. Specific state and federal laws against parental kidnapping carry stiff sentences for violation.

    For example, say the court has placed you in the legal custody of your mother. Your father lives out of state and has holiday visits. After you spend two weeks with your father at Christmas, he decides not to return you to your mother. This is custodial interference and may be prosecuted as a crime.

    If your parents agree that you can live with your father, however, they should ask the court to modify the custody order. Courts grant modification requests all the time. The key issue is what′s best for you. If there′s no risk of abuse or neglect, and all agree that the change is for your benefit, it will most likely be approved.

    Let your opinion be heard in custody modification situations. Many courts want to know whether you agree with the change of custody. Feel free to write the court a letter. Or you may have the opportunity to go to court and speak with the judge. This is your chance to state your true feelings.

    If you′re hesitant to speak up in your parents′ presence, ask to talk to the judge alone. Many judges will allow this. You may be taken to the judge′s office with your lawyer or guardian, where you can speak freely. The judge will see that your statements remain confidential.

    The point is that you are the most important person in the case. Your opinion matters and should be heard. The results may not be 100 percent to your satisfaction, but speaking up gives you the chance to share your views and to make sure your concerns are taken into account.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    110 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Daniela
      Sun, 18 Jan 2009 at 11:18

      what if the child wants to live with one parent, but the other parent won’t let the child leave?

      Judge Tom’s response:
      A lot depends on the age of the child. Generally if under 12 or 13, the issue of residence should be worked out between the parents. If a neutral person [counselor] is needed, find a good one that you both trust and will listen to. If a teenager, it’s important for the three of you to reach an agreement. Most communities have counselors and mediators to help resolve these issues. Going to court to settle the issue should be your last resort, and may leave emotional scars on all of you. Lawyers and courts are there if you need them, but if you can reach an agreement without court intervention and delay, all the better for your son or daughter. The bottom line in any custody/visitation case is what’s best for he child. Good luck, and stay calm.

    • Jody Logan
      Tue, 17 Feb 2009 at 07:06

      I am suppose to have physical custody of my son. He went to another state to be with his father due to a court order on visitation. We both agreed to let him stay with his father til after the holidays due to money issues on both ends as far as getting him back. Now the holidays are over and I have made arangemnets with my job to go and get him myself and the father is telling me I can’t have him back. I can’t get any legal advice from my state because the court papers were filed in the state he is in now.. I have called everyone about this in my state (Nevada) and his state (New York) Noone will gove me answers!!! Can I go there with my court order and just take him and not have to worry about being arrested. He is in violation not me!!!!

      Judge Tom’s response:
      Dear Jody: First, I think you would “worry” if you were arrested, not to mention the additional expense to you and loss of time with your son. You might consider calling community legal services in New York for assistance, or before you make the trip, contact the local police in the city where your son is and ask how they handle these situations. They may refer you to a local attorney or legal assistance program. Make sure the father hasn’t obtained a modified custody order without you knowing about it, in which case the police will follow the most recent court order. If you go to New York, take copies of all of your custody documents [divorce/separation order, custody/visitation orders]. Once there, check to see if the local court has free legal assistance for the public. It may be available once a week, usually on a first-come, first-served basis and free in many jurisdictions. All the best.

    • Laura Feeley
      Mon, 14 Sep 2009 at 10:21

      I live in Pennsylvania and have a question concerning parental kidnapping. What if there are threats of divorce but as of late no papers have been filed and one parent has the children but won’t let the other parent not only see them but refuses to tell that parent where the children are staying?
      Judge Tom’s response:
      Every state has laws regarding parents’ rights and custodial interference. You need to check with a local attorney or family court to see the laws that apply to you. The court may have a free legal assistance program to at least get you started and/or provide advice. Good luck.

    • walker
      Sun, 22 Nov 2009 at 01:46

      i have a question i have 2 young boys and there dad has taken them both and wont give them back butt we are not maried and he is not on one of there birth cirtificet what can i do to get my kids back
      Dear Walker: We are an educational web site about law and teenagers. Your question is beyond the scope of ATJ plus we don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. Contact a family law attorney in your area – you might be able to get a brief consultation for a nominal fee or even free. Good luck.

    • wonderer
      Tue, 26 Jan 2010 at 10:28

      in november of ’09 i left nevada and moved to arizona with my one year old son and two year old daughter. my husband, who is still living in nevada, is now threatening to file charges for kidnapping against me, having me arrested, or at least ordered to move back into the state of nevada. what can he really do and how long does it take for this kind of court order to go through?
      Dear Ms. Wonderer: Askthejudge.info is an informational web site for teenagers about the law. We don’t provide legal advice to anyone, adult or teen. Consequently, we are unable to respond to your question. We suggest you consult a lawyer in your area familiar with family and criminal law. All the best. -ATJ/
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • April_G
      Thu, 18 Feb 2010 at 07:45

      What if the parent who has legal custody moves out of the state, and refuses to allow the other parent to speak to the child, or hae any interaction with the child? Furthermore, what if that parent refuses to give the other parent contact information? Would this be considered kidnapping?
      What should the non-custodial parent do to force the custodial parent to put her in touch with the child?
      DEar April: What you have described is a form of kidnapping called “custodial interference” in some states. You have to look to the laws of the state where the court orders exist. The parent whose court-ordered visitation rights are being violated should contact his or her lawyer so that the matter can be brought back before the judge. There are penalties for violating court orders. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • alexandria harris
      Sun, 28 Feb 2010 at 02:34

      If a mother has an open ACS case and she is in a program for having drugs in her system when she gave birth not to mention the child had drugs in her system at the time of birth. Can the mother just leave New York? And if the father does not consent to the children being taking out of the state is this considered kidnapping?
      Dear Ms. Harris: If she is a ward of the state she cannot just leave the court’s jurisdiction without the approval of the judge. There may be travel restrictions imposed by the court as part of the dependency case. Depending on the laws in your state, taking the children across state boundaries may be considered custodial interference and be punishable as a crime. She should talk with a lawyer familiar with family court matters and learn about the consequences of any action she might take before she acts. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • alexandria harris
      Sun, 28 Feb 2010 at 05:05

      Would a non working parent be able to get custody even if they are not working? And what are the rights of the grandparents would they be able to get custody?
      Dear Ms. Harris: Generally, custody is based on what is in the child’s best interests. Financial security is only one factor in the court’s determination of placement. In most states, grandparents have statutory rights to visitation with grandchildren under specified circumstances. Custody is another matter that is decided on the facts of the case and what is best for the child. Parents’ rights, however, come first before a grandparent may assert a claim for custody. Check your state’s laws or Google “grandparent rights” and your state name. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Lisa
      Thu, 11 Mar 2010 at 04:11

      me and my ex are still legally married due to the fact i have not had the money to file for divorce and he just doesnt care even tho we have been seperated for 3 years and our 2 sons have lived with me. the first of the year i asked if he could help with them for awhile due to my financial situation and now does not want to give them back or let me talk to them. can i just go get them from him or will i be charged with kidnapping since i live in texas and he lives in new mexico?
      Dear Lisa: Askthejudge.info is an educational website for teenagers. Consequently, we are unable to assist you. In addition, we don’t provide legal advice to anyone, teen or adult. You need to speak with a lawyer who practices family law. Maybe your area has FLAP [free legal assistance program] where you meet with a lawyer for 30 minutes or so at no cost to you. Check with your local court about this. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • marjolisa
      Tue, 20 Apr 2010 at 05:05

      we’re in ct. my husband kept us in a hotel for over a year, after an eviction, racked up a hotel bill and kept it under my name. he didn’t pay and i was arrested for it, since he kept my name on the hotel’s registration. the hotel only dealt with him and never even approached me about the bill, and therefore had no idea, it was kept under my name. he left the state and left me and my kids without any support, to have a permanent home. we’ve been struggling with the help of my mother and still forced to live in a motel. he now claims that i kidnapped the kids although the kids go to same schools. i’m only trying to keep their lives as much normal as possible. can he claim kidnapping? he fled the state after my arrest. he knows where the kids are, and i’m only concerned enough not to let him know which motel we are staying. i’ve asked him to meet us in a specific place, but he wants to know which hotel. when he left the state, i was staying with a friend for 2 weeks and he didn’t give any support, then was forced to go to different hotels. i have asked for him to provide us with home and money but he has refused to.
      Dear Marjolisa: Askthejudge.info is an educational web site for teenagers about the law. We don’t provide legal advice to anyone – adult or teen. Consequently, we are unable to assist you with your situation. We suggest you contact a local lawyer. Your area may have a Free Legal Assistance Program [FLAP] where you can sit down with a lawyer for a limited time [usually 30-60 minutes] and obtain advice. Check with your local courthouse or law library to see if this exists where you live. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Chad
      Tue, 01 Jun 2010 at 12:00

      My X has moved and I have no contact info and have not seen my son since.
      I have a court order as shared custody and tried to file contempt but without a address I cannot serve her papers and the hearing was continued till a later date.
      I have tried all avenues but cannot find her.
      Would this be considered kidnapping?
      Dear Chad: Sorry to hear about this situation. Your state may have a law regarding “custodial interference” which may fit what you have described. It is a crime in some states. Talk with a family lawyer or contact your local family court to see what is the best way for you to proceed. You might also report this to the police if she is in violation of any court orders. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • heart broken
      Fri, 11 Jun 2010 at 05:35

      what if there isnt any custody filed but both parents are on the birth certificate and then when the mom gets mad and cut all ties? is this still kidnapping?
      Dear Heart: You’ll have to look o the definition of kidnapping in your state. Each state has its own laws. Google the name of your state and “kidnapping law” for the definition. What has happened may also fall under custodial interference where there are consequences for the offender. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Grandma C
      Mon, 14 Jun 2010 at 09:41

      To make a complicated matter as brief as possible, my grandchildren’s father is not in the picture as he is a convicted child molester and not to be near children, including his own. My daughter is on drugs, has a new boyfriend almost monthly, and is now in jail for B&E. We have called CPS to rescue the children, although the new boyfriend of the month was apparently given verbal permission in front of the police by her (while being arrested) to keep the children. The living conditions are equitable to the bombed and poor in Bosnia, yet CPS will not remove the children as they are deemed to be in a “safe place.” Is it considered “Kidnapping” to remove my grandchildren from this stranger who no one seems to know, though it is not her wish for us to do so?
      Dear Grandma C: This website is an educational resource for teenagers about the law. We do not provide legal advice to anyone, adult or teen. We suggest you speak with either a criminal defense attorney in your state or a lawyer who specializes in family law. There is a difference between custodial interference and criminal kidnapping. Good luck.
      [This is information only -not legal advice].

    • misty haithcoat
      Fri, 18 Jun 2010 at 03:58

      me and my ex husband had joint custody he picked them up for a vistit and vanished now 10 year latter my kids have been taken by colorardo family sevices. and they tell me even tho i have custody from ill that colorado doesnt have to give them to me they want me to have icpc done first can i just go there with my order from ill and get my kids
      Dear Misty: You need to talk with a lawyer in your area about your options. Since the children are in the custody of CPS in Colorado, you may not be able to simply go there and pick the kids up. There may be Colorado court orders in place. The ICPC [Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children] is the legal process for moving children from state to state when a state agency, such as CPS or the court, is involved. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Judi Simmons
      Wed, 28 Jul 2010 at 01:32

      I HAVE SOMEONE IN MY FAMILY,WHO HAS A 4-YR-OLD GRANDSON,WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN CARING FOR OFF AND ON FOR SOME TIME.THEY PLAN ON LEAVING THE STATE SOON AND TAKING THE 4-YR OLD WITH THEM. I DONT THINK THEIR 19 YR OLD DAUGHTER KNOWS ABOUT IT,WITHOUT NO GUARDIAN PAPERS,WOULD THIS BE CONSIDERED AS KIDNAPPING.THANK YOU FOR RESPONSE, JUDI SIMMONS
      Dear Judi: There is a difference between kidnapping and custodial interference. If there is a valid court order placing the child in the custody of one person and someone else takes custody or extends a visit beyond what the court has authorized, it may constitute custodial interference. You have to look to the laws of your state for the exact definitions of these terms. Kidnapping is defined in the criminal laws of your state. You could Google both terms along with your state’s name for more details about each. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • frantic
      Fri, 30 Jul 2010 at 10:40

      My 9 year old son has always been in my care. About once or twice a year I hear from his father and his family wanting to see him. I usally dont allow him to go but now my son is older and he says he wants to see them too.I let him go and now they wont bring him back. I went to his house and they aren’t there. My son’s father wont tell me where they are. I have a dv acs case but Im no longer with the batterer and are taking all steps to close out the case. Will he get custody because of my acs case? Who will the child stay with until a decision is made?
      Dear Frantic: Askthejudge.info is an educational website for teenagers about the law. We can tell you that you should speak with a family law attorney in your area. Your local court may have a program where you can receive free legal advice. Check with them – otherwise you may be able to obtain legal services on a sliding scale if your financial circumstances justify such. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice].

    • Maralyn Culp
      Tue, 28 Sep 2010 at 02:19

      if a person is charged with kidnapping a child and the legal parent(s) decide not to press charges will the defendant still be charged or sentenced? (This situation happens in the movie Big Daddy)I know this is a fictional movie but I am writing a paper for school based on fiction versus reality.
      Dear Maralyn: Yes, the person can still be charged regardless of whether the parents and/or victim don’t want to press charges. Ultimately, it’s up to the prosecutor’s office to review the case and file the charges they believe are most appropriate. The same is true is domestic violence cases where the victim often states that he/she doesn’t want to press charges, but once the police find out about an incident and are involved, a police report is usually written and reviewed by the prosecutor’s office. Good luck with your paper.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Matt
      Tue, 28 Sep 2010 at 07:25

      i would like to know if it is considered kidnapping if when parents separate, the one with the child wont allow the other parent any access to the child, either through a visit or even a phone call…in this circumstance there is no divorce…i m in Michigan by the way…
      Dear Matt: What you’re referring to may be considered parental kidnapping or “custodial interference” depending on the laws in your state. However, laws concerning custodial interference may apply when there has been a divorce and custody orders by the court are in place. Again, this depends on the laws in your state. Try Googling your state’s name and “custodial interference” for the specific laws in your state. You also could try contacting a local family law attorney who would be able to provide more information. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Rebecca
      Sat, 05 Feb 2011 at 03:13

      I have a question. My boyfriend and his ex seperated 14mths ago. Divorce papers were filled but never signed by a judge. We live in TN where the papers were filled and where they lived. She had the children with her. She told him she was going to her families house in Mississippi for a few weeks. She then told him after being there for 3 weeks that she isn’t coming back.We have since found out that the boys are being abused.We called cps of Mississippi. They had the case open for months then closed it. She keeps showing the divorce papers that haven’t been singed or seen by a judge and uses them to say she has custody. It also states in them that he gets them 6 mths out of the yr. He hasn’t been alone with them in over a yr. When he sees them she makes him go to her families house here in Tn.He is not aloud to take them anywhere nor is he aloud to bring them to our house for any visits. What can we do? We have called legal aid in Tn but they say they can’t get involved. We don’t have the money for a lawyer. Please what can we do? WE NEED HELP!
      Dear Rebecca: We’re sorry to hear about you and your boyfriend’s situation. He needs to speak with a family law attorney to get some answers. You can try calling your local court and ask if it provides a free legal assistance program where you can meet with a free volunteer attorney to get some free legal help and information. Many courts offer this type of program. You can also contact a local family attorney for a consultation. Many attorneys provide a free initial consultation. If you believe your boyfriend’s sons are still being abused, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-2873. Good luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Alan
      Fri, 25 Feb 2011 at 07:37

      I moved out of state in August. My orders state that I can have my son any weekend of my choosing. On January 25th, I informed her of my weekend, Feb 18-21. On the Feb 9th I bought the ticket. When I called to inform her about the times, she told me he wasn’t going. For the next week and a half, she told me that she wanted me to pay her $50 to take him. I pay for the ticket, which is usually around $400, and I send her $50 for the unaccompanied minor charge that has to be paid at the airport so she wouldn’t have to pay it. On the 18th, she still refused to put him on the plane. I didn’t get my visitation for Feburary.She has blocked my phone number. What can i do?
      Dear Alan: We’re sorry to hear about your situation. AsktheJudge is a teen law site answering questions about teens’ rights and the laws that affect them. Therefore, we’re unable to assist you with your question, but we suggest contacting a family law attorney in the state where you received your orders. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation, which may be telephonic. Best of luck.
      [This is information only - not legal advice.]

    • Nicole
      Sat, 09 Apr 2011 at 10:52

      My ex lives in New Jersey and I live in Michigan. We have a mediation court order in New Jersey that my ex have residental custody and I have holidays, summers and school breaks. In the order it says either we go 50/50 to fly them to michigan and back or if I drive and pick them up in New Jersey he must come pick them up in Michigan. If I go pick them up from New Jersey and he can’t or will not pick them up from michigan can I get in any truble because he has the residental custody in new jersey. I want to get them but there is no way I can also bring them back and he will make some excuse not to pick them up. Please let me know someone asap I want to go get them now.
      Dear Nicole: AsktheJudge.info is a teen law website answering teens’ questions about their rights and the laws that affect them. Therefore, we’re unable to assist you with your question. However, you could try contacting a local family law attorney for a free consultation and to answer your question or contact your local court and find out whether they offer a free legal assistance program where you could meet briefly with an attorney. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Shauna
      Wed, 06 Jul 2011 at 09:56

      I have 2 children in common with an ex-boyfriend and we have joint physical and legal custody. We both live in the same state of utah and in the same town. Our older child since november 2009 has refused to come back home with the enticement of his father. This child has since become ungovernable as it started shortly before he refused to return. I have a permanant protective order against the father 2 years after the joint custody came into play. He is very manipuative with the children. He has had my younger son who is 12 take his urine tests and tells him that it is for the doctor. He has been charged already with custodial interference in 2009. It is my belief because of his behavior that he has enticed my now 15 year old to not return home. We are currently involved in court to modify the present custody order but I want to know if he can now be charged with custodial interference. Utah has changed the custodial interference law to children under the age of 18 instead of 16 but but does not clarify the question what if the child refuses to come home?
      Dear Shauna: AsktheJudge.info is an educational website for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We do not provide legal advice to adults or teens. We suggest you speak with a local family lawyer who is familiar with Utah law and can answer your questions and/or advise you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • art lindsey
      Thu, 11 Aug 2011 at 05:06

      Marriage,divorce decree and jurisdiction remain in Michigan where I have been a resident all my life. X-wife and 17 year old son has lived in Indiana for 16 years. My son wants to live with me and refuses to go back to mother after visitation. What are the consequences of this?
      Dear Art: It depends on the exact language in the divorce decree issued by the court. You may have to return to court to modify the custody order placing such with you. Depending on your state laws, it may be best to wait until your son turns 18 when he can decide for himself where he wants to live. Again, one would have to consider the facts of your case along with the applicable laws of both states. We recommend you contact a local family lawyer to discuss your options. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tracee
      Fri, 19 Aug 2011 at 05:54

      My 15-year old step son came for a sunner visit (7 weeks) and in that course of time, he decided he wanted to stay with us. His bio mother has gome back and forth on letting him stay and for now haw agreed. He is set to start school on 8.22.11 locally. THe attorney’s told us to not worry about it as she has stated he can stay and she even went as far as putting him back on a plane to return here. Now, however, she is threatening to get the FBI involved for kidnapping. We do hae text messages from her stating he can stay and she did put him on a plane back. We are actively in the proces of a change in custody. Do we need to be concerned about the FBI and kidnapping?

      Thanks
      Dear Tracee: Anytime someone threatens to involve the FBI or any other law enforcement agency is cause for concern. But since you have a lawyer, follow his or her advice. Review with the attorney the custody and visitation orders from your husband’s divorce. Obviously, this is why you’re back before the court for a change of custody. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Barbara Porter
      Thu, 01 Sep 2011 at 06:50

      I have a friend who is having problems getting her son returned to her. Her ex-husband is not the child’s father has no legal rights where the child is concerned. She has full custody of the child since the child’s biological father gave up his parental rights when the child was born. She allowed her son to visit with her ex-husband after their divorce. Now he is refusing to allow her to have him back and refuses to allow her to have any contact with her son. Is this kidnapping? Could she get law enforcement to file charges and return her child to her?
      Dear Barbara: Under the laws of the state where this has happened, it may come under “custodial interference” or kidnapping. Google the name of the state and “custodial interference” for information. Reporting this to the police may result in an investigation and charges against the ex-husband. She should speak with a lawyer about this for advice regarding her options to get her son back. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • gilda
      Thu, 15 Sep 2011 at 07:24

      i just dnt knoe what to do my ex had me arresit an kidnapped my son i spent 2 days in jail it had nothing to do with my son,when i got out my child father would not let my son return to my home with his brother, my ex is married an has not been ligatmated of sign a birth certifice it been two weeks now im miss my son an now his father has a order of patection agaist me so i cant just go an pick him up what do i do
      i have court for interfance of custdy on the 27 against the father have i done the right ting or will i lose my son
      Dear Gilda: AsktheJudge.info is a teen law site answering teens’ questions about their rights and the laws that affect them. We suggest you contact a local family law attorney for information and advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Demi
      Sun, 25 Sep 2011 at 08:43

      Hi , I can’t take it anymore , my husband so bossy and want me to do what ever he want even if I don’t want , he always say either we devorce or I have to listen to him , I want to take my 3 year old son move live with my relative which is 1 hour away , is that call kidnapping ? Or what I have to do for it legally to move out ? Because I scare to live in the same house when our situation bad , he choking me few time when he got mad ! Please help me , give me advise!!
      Dear Demi: AsktheJudge.info is an educational website for teenagers about the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults. We suggest you speak with a family lawyer in your area regarding your rights and how to protect yourself and the child. You may need to get a protective order from a court if the physical abuse continues. Many lawyers offer a free consultation for the first 30 minutes or so. This may be all the time you need to help you decide how to proceed. Ask about this when you call the lawyer. If you or your child are in any danger, notify the police. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Kimberly Bryant
      Sun, 02 Oct 2011 at 05:42

      My former boyfriend and I decided we wanted to make a life together. I have 2 children. My mother convinced me to leave them with her till we spent some time together and then at Christmas she would fly them out to me. The kids decided they did not want to go and suddenly two days before court I was set up and received a meth charge. I have never had a drug charge before. She was given custody.

      would it be kidnapping if i WERE TO GO AND TAKE THEM WITH ME TO New York.
      could I be arrested?
      Dear Kimberly: If your mother was granted custody by the court, then yes you could be arrested for parental kidnapping, custodial interference or another similar law in your state if you take your children to New York. If you want to challenge the custody orders, we suggest you contact a family law attorney in your area for information and advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Melissa
      Mon, 07 Nov 2011 at 04:24

      The mother of my step son is refusing to allow my husband to see their child on his ordered visitation nights. It is his weekend with the child and we found out from her friend that she is planning on leaving the state with the child so that he cannot see him. We have filed police reports for the past week on each night that the visitations were suppose to take place. If she leaves the state of kansas with the child on his designated weekend without his knowledge is that considered parental kidnapping? And what should we do if she does leave the state with the child?
      Dear Melissa: Under Kansas law, violating a court order regarding custody and visitation may constitute parental kidnapping or what is called custodial interference. Since you have already reported this to the police, it may be time to speak witrh a lawyer. If your husband had a lawyer during the divorce, contact him or her for advice regarding this situation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • norman
      Thu, 24 Nov 2011 at 11:15

      what is the best thing to do the mom of my son doesn’t want to be together and she wants to movie from az back up to wa but i dont want to movie or loss my son what can i do
      Dear Norman: We recommend you speak with a lawyer who practices family law. Some of the courts in Arizona have a program where lawyers provide the public advice at no cost. Call your local superior court for information on this. In Maricopa County, for example, the program is once a week, on a first come, first served basis at the courthouse. You usually get 30 minutes or so with the lawyer. It’s called the Free Legal Assistance Program (FLAP). Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jp
      Thu, 22 Dec 2011 at 03:38

      Divorce papers were signed in Florida, I now live in tenessee. I get my son over the christmas holiday every other year. This year his mother said i can keep him an extra week. Now she has changed her mind. She demands I bring him back on time. I have already budgeted my finances to bring him back late. If I can’t afford to bring him back on time does this constitute kidnapping. Also the parenting plan signed by the judge dictates I pay for all travel expenses.
      Dear JP: AsktheJudge is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. Speak with a family lawyer about these issues – perhaps the lawyer you had at the time of the divorce. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • alex
      Wed, 04 Jan 2012 at 07:41

      i am 13 and live with my mother in ohio. my father lives in michigan. they were never married and there is no court order for any visitation or custody. my father wants to see me and my mom agreed to drop me off there with a certain time to pick me up. with no court order does he have to give me back?
      Dear Alex: If a court has never been involved with your parents regarding your custody and visitation, it’s up to them to decide these issues. If they can’t agree or don’t follow through with informal arrangements between them, either your Mom or Dad can go to court and ask for specific orders. We can’t tell you that your Dad has to return you or not since we don’t provide legal advice and the answer would be based on the laws of Michigan and Ohio. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tricia
      Sun, 08 Jan 2012 at 12:04

      I have primary physical custody, but for a few months 2 months let my ex husband have my son live with him and enrolled him in school, but now my son is saying he wants to live with me again, and I found out his enviorment is not stable as my ex assured me. we never changed the custody agreement, but i did provide my sons birth certificate and social security card. Does my ex have a case of kidnapping against me? if i’m still the primary custodial parent on the court documents?
      Dear Tricia: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teenagers and the law. We suggest you contact a local family law attorney for information and assistance. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. If the custody orders have not been modified by the court, then the original orders are most likely still in effect giving you primary physical custody, but may depend on the specific laws in your state as well as the facts and circumstances. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Erika
      Sat, 14 Jan 2012 at 08:02

      I’m not married,but me and my child’s dad sometimes do not get along. He wants our daughter when he is mad with me. I have primary custody. If he does not give my daughter back could i file for parental kidnapping??
      Dear Erika: It could be considered parental kidnapping depending on the specific custody orders and the laws of your state. You could contact a local family attorney who would be able to provide further information based on the laws in your state. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. You also could contact the Legal Aid office in your city/town. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Colleen
      Fri, 10 Feb 2012 at 08:39

      Judge,
      I have a sister in law in arizona who has been trying to serve her husband with divorce papers (over 6 mo), now filing notice in local paper. Domestic abuse has been happing for years, she finally had enough after he shoot a gun in their home blowing out the TV, with one child in the room and a baby in a bedroom. He has been staying with his mom, but they have yet to catch up with him to be served. She has protection order for herself, but didnt want to inflame his family that also lives near by filing for protection for the kids, also thinking that his family would watch out for them. She and the kids finally had to leave the house, and she moved within the same school dist, but didnt tell her husband, for fear of her safety. He recently drill the 6 year old to find out if mommy was keeping her car in the garage, the 6 yr old said they didnt have a garage, her husband drove around town until her found the house, the next day the windows where shot out of the unit upstairs from where she is staying with her children. I have made my concerns to the family that I fear for her safety. I truely believe if he gets the chance he will kill her. She has no money, probably about to be kicked out of the place she is staying, they know of her sistuation with her husband. She has a lawyer who wont return her calls and my sister in law has given her most of the forms the lawyer has filed, that were found online. My main question is can she leave the state for her safety? Her husband and the family is demanding she lives in Arizona until her death. My sister in law has a job opportunity in another state and will continue to try and serve her husband, Please gives us some options for her safety and the safety of the kids.
      Dear Colleen: AsktheJudge.info is a site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest she continue to call her lawyer or the police to report any danger she and the kids may be in. If her husband is violating the restraining order, that is a crime that’s punishable by jail. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • steve
      Sun, 11 Mar 2012 at 04:25

      is it parental kidnapping if my ex and i have joint legal, joint physical and split parenting time and due to an income tax dispute my ex took her week parenting time and to seek revenge has not returned our daughter to me. I have at this time filed 27 violations against her yet im waiting for the court date which is still a month away meaning 2 months of me not seeing my daughter. my ex has has ignored all communication with me, she wont answer her phone or return calls and text messages
      Dear Steve: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you keep complete documentation of all communications and violations of existing court orders. Your attorney will need this when you’re in court next month. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Michael
      Sun, 01 Apr 2012 at 10:57

      I live in PA and I have court order giving Primary Physical Custody of my 4 year old daughter, And her mother is now try to keep her from me I feel it’s Parental Kidnapping and the local police won’t do nothing. But when I tried it they tried to throw me in jail ???? I don’t understand if they can legal do that to me and not her, And if they can file chargers against the mother for kidnapping ??? Please I have tried to look it up online and can’t geta straight answer !!! Please and info will help Thank you
      Dear Michael: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with a family lawyer about this for advice. Many courts across the country offer the public free legal advice from local lawyers hoping to get your business. They usually will meet with you for up to thirty minutes with no obligation on your part. Call your local court and ask if they offer this program, sometimes called Family Legal Assistance Program. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Anna
      Fri, 06 Apr 2012 at 05:07

      My sister removed her 2 kids from school in missouri where she lived with her husband and his 6 family members and left him that day and came to texas to my house. She was arrested 36 hrs later and has been in jail for 44 days now on parental kidnap. the boy doesnt belong to him but the girl does. the father came to texas 2 days afetr arrest to get the daughter, but left and went back to missouri without her. She is 7 yrs old. I have had her for 6 weeks and have her in school. I have offered time and time again to pay his way here to see her and he refuses. He wants the boy which dont belong to him and i have him on tape saying if she will come home with the 2 kids this will all go away or give him the boy. also his family is all law enforcement there in mo. how can she still be in jail if he left the girl in texas and went back to missouri.
      Dear Anna: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with a lawyer who practices family law about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • taemar
      Wed, 11 Apr 2012 at 11:48

      ok….so here is a question. what is the difference between parental kidnapping and custodial interferance… me and my ex have joint custody with sole physical and joint legal… now he took the kids out of state 2 years ago i have not seen them since…right now i am going through the p.d for custodial interferance but from what i have read it might be more i am also in the process of serving him a order to show cause for the court order and visitation. he relocated to puerto rico i live in utah how can i get these kids back? puerto rico is apart of the united states via territory… so parental kidnapping or custodial interferance? obviously he has disreguarded the court order and has fled without my knowlege 2 years ago i filed a report then. is this enough for a emergency custody order..please i am running out of time.
      p.s home state is utah.. utah is the state that has juristican. kids where born and raised here they lived here till he fled 2 years ago.
      AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. You are asking for legal advice and interpretation of Utah laws. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      Since the public defender represents you in this matter, we suggest you speak with your lawyer about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sabrina M
      Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 11:35

      My ex boyfriend does not want to give my baby back, I let her spend the night for a birthday party and I went to pick her up sunday and he did not want to give her back, I called the police and he started claiming to be her father, which I am sure he is not, no one has signed the birth certificate except me, and the police are saying because he is claiming that he is the father he does not have to give her back, and this has to go through court, what can I do to get her back?
      Dear Sabrina: We suggest you speak with a lawyer in your area. A lawyer familiar with family law can advise you regarding your rights to your baby. Emergency or temporary orders can be issued by a judge and that may be what you need to regain custody. Some courts offer free legal advice in family law cases. Volunteer lawyers provide thirty minutes or so and that may be all you need. Call your court and ask about a Family Law Assistance Program. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jaye
      Sun, 29 Apr 2012 at 08:14

      my ex got kids 20 years ago and I haad visting rights but then he and new wife I couldn’t find them to have visting rights for 20 years, isn’t that bad
      Dear Jaye: Yes, that’s very unfortunate. Hopefully, going forward, you can establish a relationship with your now-adult children and leave the past behind you. All the best.
      (This is information – not legal advice).

    • a
      Sun, 27 May 2012 at 07:40

      if my husband is abusive and we have verbally agreed to move to florida from another state, and he changes his mind and takes all the money can i still take my child to another state as we planned and file for divorce in florida?
      Dear a: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest you contact a family law attorney in your area for help and answers to your questions. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • krysta
      Tue, 12 Jun 2012 at 10:21

      Is it kidnapping if we have custody of the kids and thir mother gets them on the weekends but she is suppose to return them on Sunday at 6 and she didn’t return them she keeps saying they are on their way and they never show up and she starts avoiding our calls and text.
      Dear Krysta: You have to look to your state laws regarding custody of children. Keeping a child in violation of a court order is referred to as “custodial interference.” It may be contempt of court and is punishable under the law. It’s best to speak with a family lawyer about this in order to prevent it from happening on a regular basis. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Nathan
      Sat, 30 Jun 2012 at 04:20

      Is it considered kidnapping if my ex wife will not allow me visitation right and not allowing me to even talk to my children?? And let my daughter out of state without my permission??
      Dear Nathan: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. Depending on the laws in your state as well as the specific facts and circumstances concerning custody, there could be an issue of custodial interference or “parental kidnapping”. You need to consult with a local family law attorney in your area. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. You also could find out if your local court offers a free legal assistance program at which time you may be able to meet briefly with an attorney for free legal information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Shane
      Tue, 03 Jul 2012 at 09:24

      If both parents are under the age of 18 but they are both on the birth certificate, and the mother is moving, (not out of state, just relocating), but will not tell the father where she is moving to or let him see the child. What is in the fathers best interest?
      Dear Shane: If the father wants to be involved in his child’s life, then he may need to hire an attorney and take custody issue to court so a judge can decide what is in the child’s best interests. It’s always best if the matter can be settled outside of court though. If the father and mother can reach an agreement on custody, then it’s a simple process to file the agreement with the court and have a judge sign off. If there is no money or finances are limited for attorney’s fees, the person could check with the court to find out whether a free legal assistance program is offered. Many courts offer these programs on a weekly or monthly basis allowing the public to meet briefly (half hour) with a local attorney and receive free help and legal information. Thanks for asking.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • brandon
      Wed, 11 Jul 2012 at 11:26

      i live in oklahoma and my girlfriend took our 17 month old son back to oklahoma. and she’s doing drugs. what would happen if she was arrested. would i get him or would her parents?
      sorry i live in louisiana. and she took him back to oklahoma. but i’ve been hearing that she’s doing drugs. she lives with her parents and i live with my parents. what would happen if she got arrested? would i get my son or would her parents?
      Dear Brandon: You would have to look to the laws in both states to see who gets custody when one parent isn’t available. Discuss this with your parents – they may want to contact an attorney where you live to assess your parental rights to the child. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Sarah
      Sat, 14 Jul 2012 at 02:45

      The father is not taking care of the cats he has, this place has become unhealthy for our daughter and I to live in; he will not step up to the plate to do what needs to be done; we are fighting constantly over his pets. As I am a dual citizen, will it be OK for me to move her and I back to my country of birth without his permission as he will not consent to it even though it will be a healthier place for our child to be or do I need his consent so as to not have him file kidnapping/custodial interference charges?
      Dear Sarah: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We do not provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest that you speak with an attorney about this and your rights regarding custody and child protection. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Julie DeHay
      Thu, 26 Jul 2012 at 08:57

      I have joint custody with my ex and he had legal 60 summer visitation with them and now his lawyer says he does not have to bring them back. Couls i file kidnapping charges on him for not giving them back?
      Dear Julie: You have to look to the court orders that exist regarding custody and visitation. What’s happened may not be “kidnapping” under your state criminal laws but it could be “custodial interference.” Speak with a family lawyer about this to obtain legal advice as to how to proceed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Brandy Davis
      Fri, 03 Aug 2012 at 08:36

      My nephew was at his paternal grandparents house on the permission of the custodial father. The non custodial mother unlawfully entered the premises and took my nephew without informing either his grandparent or getting consent from the custodial parent. She is hiding the child and refusing to return him. Custody was taken from her because of abuse and neglect on her part and awarded to the father. However, the local city police refuse to enforce the custody rights of the custodial parent and help in locating the child. The mother took him and has not taken his medicine and it given him any medical treatment. My nephew is In remission from leukemia and needs medical attention. We have tried all the avenues we can and still get nowhere because they all say it is a civil or city matter and the city will kit do anything to help. We have an attorney who is fighting her best to bring my nephew home. Can u offer any suggestions as to where we might be able to get help? What happened is clearly parental abduction because the custody order has been in place over 5 years.
      Dear Brandy: Your family has done the right thing by retaining the services of an attorney. Continue talking with her about the matter to find out what can be done and what court documents can be filed to bring this matter to the attention of the judge and your nephew home to his father. It sounds like the police have already been contacted in which case there should be a report based on the incident. If your family knows where the mother is, this needs to be communicated to the police and/or the state’s Child Protective Services, so that your nephew can be removed from the home according to the custody orders and if his medical condition is being neglected. We wish your family all the best.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Angelus
      Wed, 15 Aug 2012 at 10:38

      What if the father has custody but lives in NC and the child lives with a relative in SC. Is it custodial interference or parental kidnapping if I go and pick her up. If so how much time am I looking at. Would it be cased based as she is not in his custody as he told the courts. The original hearing and order was for SC. He has moved and left the child behind in SC without my knowledge. He alone has custody. Thanks
      Dear Angelus: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with a local lawyer who practices family law for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Williams
      Mon, 03 Sep 2012 at 12:52

      What if there is not parenting plan? I’m female that married with domestic partnership. My name is on the birth certificate but I’m not the biological parent. My ex keeps her away from until the parent plan is in order. This make take several months to have this plan in order. If pick up my daughter from daycare would that be considered kidnapping, I would return her to her mother at the end of the day.?
      Dear Williams: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We suggest you contact a family law attorney in your area for further information and advice as your state laws will come into play as well as all of the specific facts and circumstances. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation consisting of 30 minutes or so. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Nicole NY
      Mon, 15 Oct 2012 at 08:25

      My father has custody of my daughter. Him and his wife have to live in the state of NY. His wife and him took it upon themselves to rent a home in NC against the courts ruling. My father kept an address with his mother NY. So my daughter technically had a NY address. The judge told them the child must LIVE in the state of NY.

      So my father and his wife took it upon themselves to only bring my daughter up to the state of NY from NC when her family here has visitations. This was over the summer of 2012.

      Now in September my daughter was enrolled in school in NY. The last court date my family and I had with them . My father and his wife decided to give custody to my mother who is the grandparent whom my daughter was visiting over the summer. She has had a court agreement to see my daughter (who is under the age of 12).

      Now right after this happen my father and his wife took her out of the NY school. And is now keeping her NC with no intentions of bringing her back right now.

      My daughter told me school is boring that is why she is not going. She said she will be back in NY in a couple of weeks she does not know when. And she has no home work from the school in NY.

      We have a court date coming up to make sure things are settled… But this is just so wrong and my daughter is being more corrupted by the hour.

      What may or may not happen? This must be considered kidnapping! Although all the i’s have not been dotted (meaning they still have not made the legal documents with their lawyer that everyone has to agree to and sign for custody.) this should be addressed.
      Dear Nicole: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We do not provide legal advice to adults or teens. And that’s what you need.
      We suggest you speak with a juvenile or family law attorney, if you don’t already have one to discuss this situation. It gets complicated when more than one state is involved since each has its own laws regarding family issues. A lawyer familiar with these matters is needed to properly prepare for a court hearing. If you don’t have a lawyer, many courts offer free consultations for the public. Contact the court you’re in and ask about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice)

    • Jose Ramirez
      Thu, 18 Oct 2012 at 11:47

      Hi. I have a 4 year old son that I haven’t seen in 5 months. I have valid visitation orders from court. Since my son mother blocked me from seeing my son, I have taken her to court twice. I filled out for contemp. Judge warned her about breaking visitation orders.. and about contempt. That she needed a lawyer to fix this and to bring an answer. She still blocked me. We went to court again..her lawyer asked for an extension. Again..judge and her lawyer warned her about breaking visitation orders..that she should follow them. Judge ordered mediation. After second court date, she still blocking visitation. She misses mediation, no show. I have court next week. I feel that she kidnapped our son from me without a reason..without permit..went against everything court ordered her. What can I do? I’m thinking about filling for kidnapping. She’s under contemp..for breaking court visitation orders.
      Dear Jose: When you go to court next week, explain everything to the judge. If she fails to appear at the hearing, the judge may issue a warrant for her arrest. If you have a lawyer representing you, tell him or her what you’ve stated here so everyone is up to date with her disregard of the court’s visitation orders. In most states, custodial interference is a crime and can be prosecuted. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • malissa
      Mon, 29 Oct 2012 at 11:32

      My exhusband ran off with my daughter 3yrs ago. Franklin, Indiana. He wrote the courts a letter stating he wasn’t putting off courts to harm anyone it was in Good faith.( he has put off court many times and as Had Contempts many times inferring in my parental rights basically parental alienation from my child. Well, He took that time December 15th 2010 to run off with my daughter. The courts will not do anything unless he is served. WHY? he did purdery lied, has kept me from talking to my daughter basically years. I have a backpack full of information going way back til 2007 on him not letting me see her. I have never been in trouble with the law never even had a seat belt ticket. He stole her during a visit before we were divorced and I tried fighting fighting in courts to get her back. But then Indiana has a law if a child is in a home 6 months that is now the child home. SO Then he put off court long enough to get his way. He took her out of school in indiana now has been gone with her over 3 yrs now. I have to find him the courts say. Why won’t they let me file emergency custody so that I can file criminal charges. He doesn’t plan to come back thats is the cold hard facts. He is not reachable I haven’t got to see my daughter or talk to her in years. She hs a sister and Brother that miss her much. I miss her too… The courts wouldn’t even hear her side even after she reported that he touched her privates. Please please Help Sincerly, Malissa
      mae Hill
      Dear Malissa: We’re very sorry to hear about your circumstances. Askthejudge.info is a teen law website providing information to teens about their rights and the laws that affect them. You could try to contact a local family law attorney for information and assistance. You could also contact your local court and/or law library and find out whether they offer a free legal assistance program as many courts do. You might be able to sit down with an attorney and receive free legal information for about half an hour or so. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Renee
      Fri, 02 Nov 2012 at 03:28

      I have a little different situation my ex husband has primary custody of two of my kids one of which wants to live with me he has told his dad but his dad punishes him when he tells him he is only 11 but he tells me he dosnt want to talk to a judge things are getting pretty bad at his dads they go without eating there is drug use in the house now my son wants to run away of course I tell him its not a good idea but what happens if he follows thru what would I do I couldn’t just leave him
      Dear Renee: It’s possible that if your son runs away and stays with you, your husband could report it as some type of parental kidnapping. However, if your kids are going without food and there is drug use in the house, it should be reported. You could report it to Child Protective Services (1-800-422-4453), so they can conduct an investigation. If the kids need to be removed from the home, they would likely be placed with you since you are the mother and have some custody rights. Finally, please consider contacting a local family law attorney if you don’t already have one, so that you can get your case back in front of the judge to reconsider the custody orders based on the information you have provided here. The judge may want to hear from your son who can ask to speak privately with the judge and not in front of everyone in the courtroom. Good luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)
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    • Renee
      Sat, 03 Nov 2012 at 03:51

      I have reported this to local law enforcement and child services the thing is it is a very small town so its all about who u know the SRS tells me he has to invite them into his home the police dept went to his house while his eclectic was off for 4months he went without electric and he had a 16 year old girlfriend living with him at the time I really feel that maybe the judge new him as well I have never been in trouble EVER I have always had a job plus I pay my child support does this kinda thing happen I have an attorney but I keep spending money my 15 year old we have together ran away from him one year ago she says her dad smoked pot with her and everything I still have her but only because he dropped the charges but now my son thinks he can do it iam not so sure he would except this one leaving him too he is on disability and he would lose my sons plus child support plz any info will help
      Dear Renee: Since you have an attorney, you should request a brief meeting or phone appointment with him/her to get your main questions answered. If your son runs away and goes to your house, you could let the police know so that you are being proactive, but also let them know the conditions going on at his father’s house. Your son may need to speak up about what’s going on like the fact that he smokes pot in front of and with his kids. If there’s any way you could try sitting down and having a calm talk with your ex about perhaps letting your son live with you for a bit, then it shouldn’t be a problem. However, since there are custody orders in place, you would need to get them modified. But when both parties agree to the modification, it’s much more likely that the judge will sign off on it. We wish you all the best. Take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)
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    • Brian McCluskie
      Thu, 29 Nov 2012 at 04:46

      What if a couple is still married, the wife took the kids out of state and refuses the father to pick them up for some time with his children. She also blocks all phone calls and visual Skype contact. There is no court agreement or anything, just a filing for divorce. I just want to see my children. I’ve been deployed for 8 months and have not seen them. I am a great father…I caught the mother being unfaithful.
      Dear Brian: This website is an educational resource for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with your military counsel or private attorney about your rights. Since a petition for divorce has been filed, you may be able to obtain temporary orders regarding contact with your children, custody and visitation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Ashley
      Sat, 01 Dec 2012 at 12:32

      I need help. My father is supposed to get my younger siblings every other weekend. We live in Michigan. The judge already denied my mother’s request to move out of state with the children. However, one of my sister’s has not been visiting. I just found out my mother moved her to Illinios without my father’s consent or knowledge. What do we do? My father still pays child support on her, this is injustice.
      Dear Ashley: First, you have to understand that child support is an entirely separate matter from custody and visitation. One doesn’t necessarily depend on the other. Your father needs to speak with a lawyer who practices family law. If your mother has violated a court order, there are consequences. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Lachae
      Sat, 15 Dec 2012 at 03:59

      I am wondering if my ex boyfriend did not return my daughter from a lunch visit. And says he isn’t bringing her back can he get kidnapping charges? He is not on her birth certificate because he thought if he signed it the government would own her he’s anti government. He never established paternity or have proof he’s her legal father. He wants to take her out of state with out permission for a few weeks and I said no so he stopped asking but had a visit today not court ordered. And hasn’t brought her back. We have no court order anything its all verbal.
      Dear Lachae: Whether or not your boyfriend is legally considered your daughter’s father does not necessarily change the fact that taking your daughter without your permission is illegal depending on the laws in your state. You should consider calling the police to report the incident so that they can follow up and investigate. You could also call Child Protective Services. The national hotline number is 1-800-422-4453. Chances are that he’s facing legal consequences if he does not return your daughter, so maybe letting him know this will make him change his mind about taking care. Good luck to you and your daugher.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Nate
      Sun, 16 Dec 2012 at 06:09

      Hey, my parents are divorced, and I live with my mom. We where meant to go with our dad this Christmas, but the weather and distance (according to my mom, I have no idea) make the travel unsafe, though she is more than willing to the time be added on during the summer. My dad is saying she is kidnapping us. Should I be worried for my mom?
      Dear Nate: There is such a thing as parental kidnapping when a parent fails to comply with the court’s orders concerning custody. However, there are also unforeseen events that sometimes make it necessary to not follow the custody orders. Try talking to your mom about this and express your concerns. Whether or not she could face consequences for keeping you this Christmas will depend on the specific facts and circumstances, the custody orders and the laws in your state. We wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • jessica
      Wed, 19 Dec 2012 at 08:07

      Ok huge question. I have 3 children . all girls. my oldest is visiting with her father and him ani have no problems. the father of the two youngest dissapeared and never was around to visit them. i was nice/stupid enough to not file abandonment papers. i live in adams county and dont drive in snow well. he signcalled me a couple months ago asking if he could have the kids for a while. i said ok. he let me talk to them abd call and such. he even came up north so i could spend time with them. i get a message on facebook fron a girl he knows saying that he signed custody over to a complete stranget who is harming them. what can i do????????? someone help me!!
      Dear Jessica: If you believe your children are in danger or are being abused, report this to the appropriate authorities to investigate. Child Protective Services and/or the police should be contacted with this information. Simply calling 911 will start the process. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jon Barrett
      Thu, 20 Dec 2012 at 09:34

      My father-in-law is a retired NYC police officer with major drug/alcohol/rage problems who has put my son’s and wife’s lives in danger multiple times. After he almost tricked my wife into doing drugs with her, I told her he must go to rehab and succeed before he is ever to see my son again. Well, as many addicts do, he manipulated her into visiting against my better judgement. While around my son, my father-in-law put sick, twisted thoughts in my 4-year-old’s head. I must protect my son and fear that my wife may be tricked into bringing him to NYC where I believe my son’s life would be in danger. We currently live in South Carolina. What actions can I take and what rights do I have to prevent this and/or if it somehow happens? Please help! My wife is easily controlled by this madman and I fear that my son may be harmed. Thanks.
      Dear Jon: We suggest you talk with a local lawyer about possible remedies to this situation. You might consider an order of protection or restraining order against your father-in-law. This could prevent contact between your son and his grandfather or provide for supervised visits. State laws on the subject come into play and would be considered by the court. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • stormi
      Fri, 21 Dec 2012 at 08:15

      Hi judge is it kidnapping if someone married into te family takes the child and you tell them you want your child and the stop contact n u have no idea were there liven atand serve you with papers
      Dear Stormi: What you describe may constitute what’s called “custodial interference” which is illegal in most states. We suggest you speak with a lawyer who practices family law. He or she can advise you about this situation and what you can do. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Luis
      Tue, 25 Dec 2012 at 03:35

      Judge, i live in the state of florida. I currently have joint physical custody 50% with my ex.i exercise it for about 1 month last november and had to stop, due to her constant threats to call the cops, allegations of domestic violence against my kids, and calls to child service. All allegations were investigated by police and child services and dismissed. i decided to not pick up the kids anymore and let things cool down, she filed for child support which i knew is what she wanted and thats why she tried her best for me to not have the kids. She was awarded the same. i talked to my kids last april and she was fine, i tried not to put them through any more damage and stress, and waited till our october court date and figured she might be better now that time went by. told her i wanted to start exercising my parenting plan and she said no, you need supervised visits, your violent. I tried going to see my daughter at a soccer game and she started crying went she saw me. She tried getting an injuction against me and was denied, but now i am worry why my kids are reacting like that, i know she is been alienating them and i filed for contempt of court. Also she is done a lot of crazy stuff and i think she is damage my daughters to the point they refuse to come with me ( told the girls schoolshe had a restraining order against me, and a few other lies). i know i have rules and i am strict about their school and things but i always been a good father and last we had contacts they were just fine. At this point the mother alledges she cant make the girls come with me, they are 12 and 14, i know she is damaged them and also it helps that she lets them do what ever they want. i filed all motions with my judge and he said he would refer us to a gm cause its the holliday and we had the issue of contempt and a few other motions and i guess he didnt have time to hear it. in the mean time, i cant pick up my kids, she has no prove of anything, i have plenty of prove of her constant false allegations and custodial interference. I know she doesnt want to loose the child support, and she knows if i have the girls i wont have to give her money, and she also gets to hurt me by not letting me have my kids. My question is, if my daughters refuse to come, who can enforce that? also, i heard the interference with custody in the state of fl is a felony, i see that the courts are not doing anything to mothers, and they need to be stopped from hurting and damaging good fathers life, i dont want her in jail but i am out of options…. another question would i still have to pay her child support if the girls refuse to come with me?? i have a feeling if they tell her i dont have to pay child support cause the girls are refusing, that she will change her demeanor.. please help.
      Dear Luis: Askthejudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you speak with your lawyer about these issues. If you don’t have one, your local court may have a program where local lawyers donate time to the public. Call the court and ask about this Family Law Assistance Program. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Barbara
      Wed, 26 Dec 2012 at 11:21

      I have a very important question that I need help with and no one can help me. Can you PLEASE help me?

      Brief? I am trying to find an attorney that can work with me and implement a mothers rights as well as a fathers. Can this firm do this? I have had joint shared parental responsibility of my children for the past 8 years. My ex husband having residential custody. He continually conceals the whereabouts of my children from me, and goes unpunished due to the fact he moves the children so many times that there is no “home state”. The original state was Florida, and he has moved them numerous times in and out of state and by the time I locate them it’s too late he has moved them again. I’m not an angry mother but a mother who is tired of begging and pleading for the father to uphold court order. They are now located in Bloomington for approximately 5 months where I found them in Bloomington North High School and Tri North Middle School. He is unaware that I have located them. I have spoke to my children on December 12, 2012 which was the first I had heard from them since March of 2012, when all communication was withheld from me. They have moved 8 times within three states in the past 3 years. I understand that they are getting ready to move again and my children are severely unhappy. The person that allowed them to call me which is his family has now been barred from seeing the children due to allowing it, and allowing my parents to see the children whom also are not allowed contact. I need help. I want him found in contempt and believe that due to the heinous nature of the contempt he would be ordered to pay all respective attorneys fees. I am doing this because my children have shown ALL signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome, and they notified me saying that they weren’t allowed to contact me and that the “girlfriend” removed my phone numbers and took away the computers so they could not do so. They have stated that they are afraid to speak up in front of the father due to him exploding. The girlfriend continuously forces them to call her mom, and states that if they continue to speak about me in their home, they will suffer the consequences. I have witnesses from his own family stating that they would be willing to “stick up for them in court”, and state the instability that these children have been through. I have spoken with several attorneys here in my state about adopting the jurisdiction here but they all state that I will have to go where they live. I am lost, and do not know what to do. I have promised the children I would do my best and although probably not my last attempt, I will do whatever it takes. This is as brief as I can make this. I don’t know how to make any of this shorter but have left out several significant factors to this case. I am hoping if you can’t help me then you can refer me to someone that can. I want to see my children. Their siblings want to see them. It isn’t only me this is hurting but the entire family and the girls mostly that he is doing this to. They need help badly at this point and have begged me to help them. They are afraid of the retaliation it will cause, so I don’t know exactly how to handle this case. My chief of Police here has stated that I should make a mandate report for emotional abuse, but I don’t think that is the way to go. I don’t believe that uprooting them from their current location to a strangers home is the best thing for them. Can I at this point get an emergency order for temporary custody until some court can resolve this? How do I help my girls?
      Dear Barbara: AsktheJudge.info is not a law firm or legal advocacy group. We are an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      Good luck in your search for an attorney. Many courts across the country have programs where lawyers offer pro bono advice to the public. You can receive a brief session at no fee or a nominal amount depending on your financial situation. Call your local court for information about this – sometimes referred to as a “Family Law Assistance Program.” -Judge Tom.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Stephanie
      Thu, 27 Dec 2012 at 12:46

      If a child’s father keeps the child 2 extra days during his visitation week due to the fact the mother knowingly informed the father that she will taking the child on vacation that will extend through the fathers next visitation weekend, is that considered kidnapping? The mother would be in violation if she did keep the child during the father’s visitation but the father just wants the days made up for and the mother doesn’t agree so plans on keeping the child 2 extra days and the mother is threatening to have him arrested for kidnapping if he does so. Can he be arrested for kidnapping? We are in the state of Illinois.
      Dear Stephanie: AsktheJudge does not provide legal advice to teens or adults. We are an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them.
      You need to Google “Illinois custodial interference” to see what constitutes kidnapping under these circumstances. Bringing in the police or going to court over something like this isn’t the best way to handle a minor lapse in visitation arrangements. Both parents should be flexible since both, at some time or other, will want some leeway in the set visitation schedule especially as the kids get older and become more active in their own lives. Running to the police or court to strictly enforce visitation will only result in animosity that works against the best interests of the children. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • brenda
      Mon, 31 Dec 2012 at 08:04

      If the father of my son is not on the birth certificate and no where else. And someday he just decides he wants to take my son without my permission. Can he do that? What can i do? Thank u
      Dear Brenda: In most states fathers have parental rights even if they’re not on the birth certificate. But it is a state-by-state determination. They may have to prove paternity before taking custody of the child. We recommend you talk with a local family law attorney who would know what your rights are as the mother and what the father needs to do before he takes any action regarding the child.
      AsktheJudge.info does not provide legal advice to teens or adults. We are an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that apply to them.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Concerned Uncle
      Wed, 02 Jan 2013 at 08:04

      My brother in laws soon to be ex-wife took 3 of his 5 children out of state while he was at work and hasn’t returned them or let him talk to them. What is his rights as a parent. It’s been 6 days since he talked to the kids.
      Dear Uncle: The father needs to talk with a local lawyer about his parental rights regarding his children. Each state has laws and procedures about parents, custody and visitation. They vary from state to state. If he doesn’t have a lawyer, he can contact the state bar association and request a list of attorneys or go to the local family court and ask for names of lawyers in the area. Some of them may provide a free consultation for the first thirty minutes or so. He should ask about this when he calls. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Step Mother
      Tue, 15 Jan 2013 at 04:17

      My husband and his ex, share joint, 50/50 custody of their 12 year old son. Both parties, and the child, have been living in TN, for almost 5 years. The mother moved to TN, due to my husband offering to share 50/50 with her if she left her abusive relationship & started fresh near us (she was under child protective investigation on behalf of her youngest son, because her lifestyle was so bad with her boyfriend. Documented physical abuse, substance abuse, etc.). Anyways, for the last 5 years, we’ve shared 50/50 custody with the mother. The mother was named “primary residential parent” due to a worry that she wouldn’t receive food stamps, etc. if she didn’t have it. There was a special provision, added to the basic 50/50 agreement, that “SHOULD A PARENT DECIDE TO MOVE FROM THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN TN, THAT THE CHILD RESIDES IN, THEY SHALL NOT TAKE THE CHILD. THE CHILD SHALL STAY WITH THE PARENT THAT REMAINS. The judge ordered this, due to her history of moving around, changing boyfriends, changing the child’s school 7 times in 3 school years etc. Anyways, 2 days before Christmas of 2012, she and my step son (whom i’ve been involved with for 9 of his 12 years) disappeared. She abandoned our entire life here, her current husband and step son, broke the court order, etc. We didn’t have any contact/response, or become aware of their location until January 6th. She took the child to Maine. She left, to shack back up with the guy she left Maine for originally, 5 yrs ago. They have physical fights in front of the child, they both have a history of substance abuse, she has never had a legal job to our knowledge, etc. She refuses to put him in school even! She’s literally breaking every single thing in the custody order. It’s just a very, very bad situation. We hired a lawyer in TN, to defend my husbands parental rights, and get the child back. It’s been almost a month, and nothing has really happened yet! Maine will not enforce the order, Tennessee is taking forever to file their “custodial interference” charges, and we’re running out of resources, and options! We’ve gone down every path we could find! My husband went up there to try and get him back, but the mother won’t allow him near the child. My husband and I have a stable history, with no major flaws to speak of. We should already have him back! She has a long history of erratic, unhealthy behaviors! It’s been almost a month now though, and nothing seems to be happening. The indictment may not go through, because Maine won’t even arrest her unless TN plans to extradite. The holidays kept the judges away forever. Now the judge on this cases mother died and he’s out again. My husband is about to fly home because he’s missed so much work. With the circumstances described, and laws broken, should we keep faith that he’s coming home!? Or is there a good chance, even with ALL THAT, that she’ll be successful? Also.. one more question.. the child is 12, and finds this move exciting and fun. Under different circumstances, my husband wouldn’t be trying to get him home, but she’s CLEARLY not a stable mother. If it is PROVEN, and the judge AGREES, that her lifestyle, relationship, and home are unfit, and also consider all the laws broke (kidnapping, concealed him, etc) can they STILL make their decision based on the child’s desires??? She has influenced him, into believing that a life of law breaking, not having a job (all government assistance to get through life), abandoning family, lying, cheating, stealing, and doing it all for an abusive relationship is COOL somehow! There’s even a man, living in that house, whom has a protection from abuse order on the guy she moved in with! Come on! Is is even LEGAL to live with someone you’ve got an active PFA on!? We don’t have him back yet, so we haven’t been able to sort out his mental state. But I would hope, that a judge, wouldn’t hear the desires of a child, when their desires are unhealthy. He does love his mother. As do ALL children, no matter WHAT their parents do. But in this case, the mother doesn’t give him a stable, healthy life…. I don’t know… the system has really let us down here… we should have to fight so hard, to get what was ALREADY OURS BACK! So… your thoughts?
      Dear Step Mother: We’re very sorry to hear about you, your husband and stepson’s circumstances. Since you have retained counsel to help with this matter, you need to continue to follow up with him/her as they should be able to answer your questions especially concerning the specific laws in your state and the typical court procedures for matters like this. As for the child’s best interests, he is too young for his wishes to be a factor in the judge’s decision. Although he may listen to him, the judge will not base his decision on what your stepson wants at this point. Finally, if you believe that your stepson is in danger in any way of abuse or neglect then Child Protective Services need to be contacted. Best of luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Step Mother
      Wed, 16 Jan 2013 at 06:51

      THANK YOU! And one more question…… We are gathering facts, and evidence, for emergency/temp sole custody. Unfortunately, the lawyer we hired REALLY isn’t very informative, but we’ve already financially exhausted ourselves, so firing, and rehiring, isn’t an option…. What advice would you give someone, in preparing the facts and evidence for emergency custody? To be honest, her history is so bad, and so long, that we really don’t know where to start. My husband, myself, and my children, just live very simple, stable, average lives. Our mission now, is to properly prepare the info, so that the judge, is as easily convinced of the need for emergency custody, as everyone else involved… her own family is calling us, to attest to how bad it is there for Pete’s sake….. Basically, it’s OBVIOUS to everyone that knows the situation… what’s your advice in making it just as obvious to the judge? Oh.. and FYI: The District Attorney General, and Domestic Detective in our area, are backing our desire for this emergency order, per their desire to press felony custodial interference charges…. Do you expect that that will influence the judges decision? This is ALL very frustrating. We always knew that criminals had to pay for their crimes… it just doesn’t seem right that the VICTIMS would have to pay for their crimes this much!!!! Our other 2 children, are literally TRAUMATIZED by how this has all played out so far… no matter WHERE we turn, to get protection, we get the same answer, “We can’t help you with that”…. In my opinion, we SHOULDN’T have had to hire a lawyer… WE ALREADY DID THAT WHEN WE GOT 50/50!!! AND IT HASN’T DONE US A BIT OF GOOD!
      Dear Step Mother: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We do not provide legal advice to anyone – teens or adults. You will need to speak either with your attorney or consult with another family law attorney in your area for advice on petitioning for emergency custody. You may want to try Legal Aid in your area for free assistance or ask your court whether they offer a free legal assistance program where you could meet briefly with an attorney who can provide information and advice pro bono. If this is an option, at least it would give you a second opinion on the situation. Take care.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Step Mother
      Wed, 16 Jan 2013 at 07:00

      Oh, and by the way, we’ve called child protective…. right out of the gate, they got the wrong impression… a few of the first words we heard were, “We’re not here to fight out custody matters”…. this isn’t ONLY a custody matter… it’s also regarding the well being of our child! If the stuff that this kid has been through, isn’t erratic, abusive, insane, and improper, I don’t know WHAT IS! “It’s very hard to investigate or prove, emotional abuse” they say…. “We generally don’t get involved unless someone is DIRECTLY harming the child” they say…. How is not harmful, to witness physical and substance abuse… how is it not harmful, to be abruptly torn away, from your home, family, life, school, and everything you know, 2 days before Christmas? Cmon people…. get real…

    • Jill
      Thu, 17 Jan 2013 at 09:33

      I’m happy to say that I am engaged to a wonderful man whom I’ve known and loved for the past six years… albeit the reason for this note… My fiancee has been divorced for approximately four or five years now and it would have been years earlier had his ex not have refused to sign their divorce papers- for reasons that she has exclaimed to me and several others that she, “was/is not going to make this easy” for my fiancé.

      My fiancé needs your help. He, his three children and his ex have resided at his current residence throughout and years after his divorce. It was agreed that his ex would move out and the children would live with either she and or him and or both. Year after year has gone by and she kept giving my fiancé the run around, giving her word and agreeing that she would move and again she has yet to do so. He and I did not want to put our lives on hold any longer than the three years we waited, before moving in together at the same residence as a couple. There are more details, but there is too much to include in this note and this is all to say that my fiancé needs your help.

      His ex refuses to move. She has held up in the residence and my fiancee has been unable to rent the space she is living in. He is unable to garner, much needed income to provide the best quality of life for his children. Also, her presence is a hostile one and one she is claiming via a court order, that is giving her mental anguish when she hears me asking my finance when she is planning to leave. She rented an a apartment over the last three months and refused to move out and cancelled her lease to fuel her claim/case for remaining in an environment that she claims is “causing her mental anguish”. She has also entered our space without permission and taken pictures to contrast and compare the bedroom that we’ve set-up for my fiancé’s son, claiming that he is neglecting his son. This is all to say that she has filed false claims according to what was detailed in the summons that my finance received. She also, claimed that my fiancé and I have been together for one year.

      My fiancé wants the best mental health for his children and this is not possible with his ex living under the same roof… also, a roof that she is now seeking to own and has been heard through the halls exclaiming “I’m not going anywhere!”

      The above story is a long and stressful one of a family being held hostage by a mentally deranged ex-wife.

      Help!
      Dear Jill: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest your fiance contact an attorney who handles property law or landlord/tenant issues. If the ex’s name is on the mortgage or there are more financial issues that are being disputed as part of the divorce, then a family law attorney may be able to assist. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • carly sparks
      Fri, 18 Jan 2013 at 02:00

      My mom terminated her parental rights to me when I was 2. I live with my dad and I will be 17 in a week. We live in Texas and I found out I can runaway at 17 and they can’t make me go home. Can my.birth mom get in trouble if I go to her? My dad has custody of me.
      Dear Carly: It’s very possible that your mom could get in trouble for harboring a runaway or another similar law. You most likely have been misinformed about the laws in your state since most states require that you follow your custodial parent’s rules (within reason of course) until you are an adult which is typically 18. However, if your Dad agrees to let you live with your Mom or another adult, then there shouldn’t be a problem as long as it’s a safe environment and there is no criminal activity going on. Best of luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • michelle
      Sat, 19 Jan 2013 at 08:32

      my sons 1 year old son was taken from his mother by cps in south bend ind and was in foster care for two weeks he has now been placed into his maternal grandparents home,only because we live in niles mich.cps said only because they dnt want the child to leave the state of indiana and it would take a long time to move the cases to mich they also never took the child support away from her their leaving it up to her to get if it to her parents.we have very little money for a lawyer.isnt this not fair to my son and his child they are paying for the childs mothers mistakes and we havent seen my grandson since christmas and we are left right now out of the childs life and in the dark
      Dear Michelle: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. Your son really needs to consult with a family law attorney if he wants to see his son, change the custody arrangements, dispute the child support, etc. Many attorneys offer a free intitial consultation which would at least give him some information about his options and the next steps to take. Also, he could try contacting his local court to find out whether there is a free legal assistance program which would allow him to meet briefly with an attorney for some assistance. Finally, it’s possible that Legal Aid might assist your son with his case. Good luck to him and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Jacqueline Dailey
      Sun, 20 Jan 2013 at 03:48

      Okay my mother had verbal custody from a judge , but my siblings and I don’t feel safe at the house she has us staying at. The guy she chose to be with was a former “Methhead” and he’s been threateniung my father. She’s threatened to call the cops if we weren’t back at a certain time and I have no clue what to do because we’re scared to go back.
      Dear Jacqueline: You didn’t mention your age but we assume you’re under 18 as well as your siblings. If you feel unsafe in this situation, you need to tell an adult you trust about what’s going on. Talk with your father or another adult relative. Judges understand that circumstances change and changes in custody orders are possible. The bottom line is always what’s in the best interests of the children. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Paula Benyak
      Tue, 22 Jan 2013 at 12:22

      in the state of Arizona If a child is in phyiscal custody with his father for 18 months, the mother never sees the child, the mother shows up takes the child and tells the father she is leaving the state is this legal?
      Dear Paula: That depends on a number of factors: whether any custody orders exist from a court; whether the mother was granted visitation and the terms of such; the age of the child; the circumstances regarding the parenting abilities of the mother and father, etc. We suggest you speak with a lawyer who practices family law for advice. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • thomas
      Tue, 22 Jan 2013 at 11:40

      hey judge me an my girlfriend live in nyc i need to know if she is able to leave state while we are fighting in family court and she has open acs case even if its a vacation is she able to leave.
      Dear Thomas: Unless there’s a court order prohibiting her from leaving the jurisdiction of the court, she’s free to travel as she pleases including leaving the state. She should pay close attention to any orders issued in her family court case regarding her whereabouts and any travel restrictions. She should speak with her lawyer about this if she’s unsure or doesn’t quite understand the judge’s orders.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • james
      Thu, 24 Jan 2013 at 06:54

      i live in wisconsin, i had a full custody order of my son for 7 years then i decided to do a shared placement with his mother, my family court orders are in wisc, the mom was legally able to bring son to montana, after a few months of being in montana i get informed from a 3rd party that my ex on a volentary basis she had to place my son out of home, i was not contacted by cps a 3rd party did, then i called cps stating i am filing for full custody that i am getting my son, they said no, even tho there was no cps filings in any cour! the day i got my full custody order in wisc, i called cps they still denied me. 6 hr later i get served by cps in mt, so i obtained my full custody order before going to court in mt, but yet they still denied me to tell me where my son is at, i go to court in mt 9 days later and the judge still denies me my son even tho they had nothing on me, i pasted home study and back ground check i still get denied, 2 years go by still dont know where my son is at and didnt speak to him bec of cps, wont give me medical or school records, the head cps regional director took over the case and they admited that the former cps worker screwed up but after two years she was taken off the case but i still dont have my son! is there pre justice? due process violations? violation of rights? cps kidknapping? violation of uniform child custody jurisdiction act! violations
      Dear James: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest you contact a family law attorney for information and advice. An attorney should be able to answer your questions and put you on the right track to get your son back. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. You also could try contacting the court in your area to find out if they offer a free legal assistance program at which time you may be able to meet briefly with a pro bonon attorney. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • adrien
      Tue, 05 Feb 2013 at 04:38

      I really want to live with my dad out of the state. My mom says that I can’t. She has physical custody. My mom and my dad both share joint legal custody of me. I’m 15 years old. My dad is supposed to come to get me in 10 days. My mom will not approve it. What will happen of he just comes here and takes me?
      Dear Adrien: Both parents are required to follow the judge’s orders regarding custody and visitation. Hopefully your parents can work this out and do what’s best for you. When your Dad comes out, maybe this is the time to sit down with both parents and explain how you feel about your living situation and why. A calm discussion, especially considering your age, may result in changes that all of you can live with. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • maria
      Sat, 09 Feb 2013 at 01:14

      I recently came to Colorado because I need surgery since arriving here my husband who left us to move here now will not allow me to leave with my children. He says I will be arrested but I need surgery and have family in another state to help me and my children. Is this true? Can I not leave here with my own children?
      Dear Maria: If there’s a court order in place concerning custody, then you need to follow the order. Otherwise, it’s up to you and your husband to work out the arrangements. If that cannot be done, you may need to get the court to intervene. We suggest you contact a family law attorney for further help and information. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Augustine Baptiste
      Wed, 20 Feb 2013 at 12:30

      What if your child was kidnapped by a parent who has no custody rights and no visitation rights and lied so that the authorities can help assist the kidnapping? The contempt of court process takes so long and I cannot go to the cops because they assisted the mother in removing the child from my home. By the way, I have sole legal and physical custody of my son; however, the mother lied and told the cops that my court order is fraudulent and they believed her. They would not listen to me even though I told them that the same court order is registered in the state of New York and supersedes our original divorce decree. Any help will be much appreciated!
      Dear Augustine: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that apply to them. We do not provide legal advice to adults or teens. We suggest you talk with an attorney who specializes in family law. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • sergio vasquez
      Sat, 16 Mar 2013 at 08:53

      We were divorced in tarrant county texas. We both live in nm. My boys are 15 and 16. They been living with me for a year. She does not help financially and worst of all. She recieves child support. From me. Finally able to serve her legally for custody. Since then, she now wants to force my kids back with her. My boys refuse to go back with her. Can I be force to send them back? Or do can they remain with me till we go to court?
      Dear Sergio: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest you speak with a family or divorce lawyer who can advise you of your rights and the laws regarding custody. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Julie
      Sat, 23 Mar 2013 at 12:36

      Hello,
      My brother and his daughter’s mother had a child together in Aug 2012 in the state of Arizona. My brother is listed as the father on the birth certificate, the child has my brother’s last name and they had established domestic partnership through living together, family health insurance, ownership of vehicles, etc. The mother recently moved to California without my brother’s consent. What is the best course of action we can take? She also wants to change the child’s last name. Is that possible without his permission? Where should we start to ensure this doesn’t progress or deteriorate further? Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
      Dear Julie: We suggest that your brother talk with a family law attorney about his rights as the father to this child. Both states, Arizona and California, have laws regarding custody, visitation, child support and name change. In order to enforce his rights he will need the advice of competent counsel. He can contact the local superior court for information about family law attorneys or call the Arizona State Bar for a list of attorneys in his area. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Paul
      Tue, 09 Apr 2013 at 12:33

      I have a daughter with a woman who has taken her from my home and now won’t tell me where she is. We were living together. She claims she’s still in the same state of South Carolina. Neither of us has official custody over my daughter. It sounds like parental kidnapping. Should I call the police?
      Dear Paul: You could report it to the police, but since there are no custody orders, there may be nothing that can be done on at this time. Since it sounds like your daughter’s mother is not willing to let you know where they are living, you may need to get the court involved in order to have visitation rights or custody ordered by a judge. Try contacting a family law attorney in your area for further information and help. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. You also could contact your local Legal Aid office to see if they can assist you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Vicki Hunter
      Wed, 17 Apr 2013 at 06:57

      I found out that my gr nephew was upset and angry from his girl friend took his baby son 3 months old. She took her baby from my gr nephew house move out to her parnet house. They are 21 years old and unmarried. She was post partin depression from after baby born. She was angry and fight and mad from my gr nephew. She was unfit mother and no job and no back school. He have ready his work from hospital and take care his baby son for buy diaper and milk and chothes and doctor appt.And I am worry for baby gr gr nephew because his mother wont talk her medication from post partin depression… Today his mother and my gr nephew went to new lawyer for back his baby son and she had post partin depression. He want back his baby son for full custory!!!!!!
      Dear Vicki: Since he has a lawyer, he should explain everything to that person and listen to the advice provided. His lawyer will know how to best represent him and protect his rights to the child. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Dawn
      Mon, 22 Apr 2013 at 07:42

      What if the mother moves and discovers she is pregnant a week later. She deceids not to tell the Father.
      Dear Dawn: Not informing the father may have consequences down the line. Each parent has rights under the law to custody and visitation as well as the obligation to support the child. We suggest you talk with a local family attorney for advice. Many will give you a free consultation for thirty minutes or so and that could be helpful in your situation. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Barrie Bergans
      Tue, 23 Apr 2013 at 08:29

      My estrainged husband stole our daughter in 2002. He is untraceable and his mother will not let me know his whereabouts. I am finally getting my divorce but I need my child who is growing up without me. Can he be prosecuted for taking her?
      Dear Barrie: It’s going to depend on your state’s laws as well as the specific facts of the case as to whether he could face charges. We suggest you contact a local family law attorney who may be willing to meet with you for no charge for the first 30 minutes or so. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Ellie Darrah
      Tue, 23 Apr 2013 at 11:15

      My mother has manipulated and tricked my son, age 11, into living with her and has filed for emergency custody under a lie, is there anyway I can stop it? I have not been served yet, so is it legal? I received an email from the lawyer stating she got it approved. If I take him down and get an order of protection against her, can this stop it? She is a child abuser, liar, and manipulator.
      Dear Ellie: We do not provide legal advice to adults or teenagers. We are an educational site for & about teens and the laws that affect them.
      We suggest you talk with a family lawyer who can advise you in this matter. Some provide free consultations for the first 30 minutes or so. Ask about this if you call a lawyer. You can also obtain a free consultation at your local superior court from the Family Law Assistance Program. Call the court and ask about this program for the public. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Tom
      Thu, 23 May 2013 at 09:15

      I live in Pa with my dad, i’m 14 years old. He has primary custody. My mother has no visitation rights, she failed several drug test and has not sought help as the court ordered her to. We want to move to Fl this summer. Would there be any issues?
      Dear Tom: Your Dad has to look to the court orders he has from the separation or divorce case. The judge may have addressed relocation to another state or country. Since your Mom has no visitation at this time, you may be able to move without her consent or input. Your Dad should talk with his lawyer about this before moving. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Elena Santiago
      Fri, 07 Jun 2013 at 03:42

      My daughter is Incarcerated due to father of her children, made false statements to New Castle County Police. Douglas Riley said mother took children from him and never returned, Children and mother fled Delaware 6-4-2009 due to fathers abuse and never returned. Father is a Sex Offender so mother had sole custody. Prosecutor of Delaware closed his sex offense case 2011 failure to prosecutes when he changed his plea to not guilty 2002. Mother was extradited from Miami 3-2013 Mother had domestic dispute with husband (not father of Kids). They said there was a warrant for mother. Mother did not know was Warrant explained its a mistake Mother was detained in Miami Jail till 4-12-13 Parents Bonded her out in Delaware. Mother was told to return Monday 4-15-13 9am. Mother has remained incarcerated. Monday 6-3-2013 mother received Prosecutor charges against her as Felony 1 interfering with custody. Father told New Castle County Police mother took children from him February 27, 2013 Aidan’s Birthday Mother was in Miami. Father has default custody order from April 2011. Mother erred date for April 8 2011. Judge gave father default custody. Judge denied all Mothers motions to reverse decision. Father tried to enforce 4-2011 order in NY Family court Nassau County where mother,children and grandparents lived since 2009 June. Judge denied fathers petition to enforce custody on September 19,2011 NY Judge said clearly the children do not know You dismissed enforcement and Judge issued Stay away order of protection for mother and children. On 9-30-2011 2 weeks after NY Judge gave mother and children Stay away Order of Protection, father Douglas Riley filed a PFA in Delaware Family Court alleging mother had abused and harassed him and children in his physical(children were in NY), Mother ignored him and father received a default PFA for mother ignoring him. In 10-2011 Father went to Delaware Family Court filed Contempt of PFA alleging mother continues to harass him and children in his physical custody(children Lived in NY) Father made false report to New Castle County Police 2-27,2013. Douglas Riley led Police and Delaware State Prosecutor to believe children where abducted/kidnapped from his physical custody. The Arrest Warrant has innocent Mother Christina Ozdemir in Jail. Delaware contacted Missing and Exploited children for assistance. The children were posted as abducted from father 9-1-2011, possible relatives grandparents have them. Missing children Squad came to our home and did not remove the children they said as far as they are concerned the children are safew and well. They closed the case. Fatherwas advised. Father went to Court Shrrif in Suffolk County our residence post Hurricane Sandy, to ask for children to be removed from abductors kidnappers. The children Aidan and Izabella now 4 years old and 6 years old were removed from there home ,family who they love and love them so much screaming and crying. Sherrif drove them to Fire Station in Setauket NY where Sheriff gave 2 children screaming and crying driven away with father they do not know and his girlfriend Dawn M. Campbell aka Romano aka Peterson who is on Methadone for Heroine addiction.Screaming and Crying due to Lies made to Police State Prosecutors,Advocates.
      Children are with drug & alcohol abusive father they fled from in 2009. Father drugged Aidan 2 years old with NyQuil so he would not bother father. I fear children of may die from drugs father has given them. Its been 3 weeks children are separated. fathers girlfriend Dawn Campbell aka Romano aka Peterson 45 years old is a Heroine Addict lost her children. Please help! Children need help to come home. mother is in Jail for FALSE Statements Delaware Police,Delaware State Prosecutor, NY Police NY Courts. How could this happen? Help the Children they need there MOTHER not fathers girlfriend who has done much damage writing negative ads against there mother. Girlfriend has posted children’s pictures with negative postings/comments of Mother and Grandparents.
      Dear Elena: We’re very sorry to hear about your daughter and grandchildren’s situation. AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. Since your daughter is in custody facing a felony charge, she should be appointed a public defender to represent her if she cannot afford an attorney. She really needs to speak with her attorney about all of this. Her attorney is in the best position to sort through the facts and any evidence and help her case come to a close with the best possible result. In addition, you could try speaking with a local family law attorney on your daughter’s behalf to see what can be done about the custody issue, etc. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation consisting of 30 minutes or so. Finally, if you believe the kids are in danger, it should be reported to the police or to Child Protective Services who will go out to the home and investigate. Best of luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • bianca
      Mon, 24 Jun 2013 at 11:45

      Me and my husband been married for three years and we been having problems so I left him last august for five months and decided to give it another try and the same domestic violence was still happening so I left again but this time I left like two hours away and we are still married and I took our children with me can I get in trouble.we also have a cps case open
      Dear Bianca: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest you speak with a family law attorney for further information and advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation or you could try contacting your local court to see whether they offer a free legal assistance program at which time you may be able to meet with a pro bono attorney. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Rosanna
      Sun, 30 Jun 2013 at 08:29

      I was admitted at the hospital because of bleeding gums so i called my ex to pick up son at my house where his bus drops him off. my ex says why can’t you get anyone else to pick him up. I told him I wouldn’t bother you if it wasn’t an emergency and you were my last option. Just picking up our son one time he complains. Anyways my drops him off at my parents house. Saturday morning he picks up our 2 kids from my dad. I tried calling him up everyday during my stay in the hospital but no response. I left messages,texts sometimes 3 times a day, nothing. I told him i was out of the hospital already and it’s been more than 2 weeks now I haven’t heard from my kids. I’m worried about my son because he needs his supliments (ensure milk) and that he might be losing weight. Everyday i’d call no answer should i charge him with kidnapping? I’m assigned primary custody for both kids and he gets the weekends and during summer we have to agree on the schedule but usually I end up keeping the same schedule because he couldn’t bring them to their appointments.
      Dear Rosanna: This website is an educational resource for teenagers about the laws that affect them We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you talk with your lawyer about your visitation schedule and what to do when you’re worried about your children when they’re with their father. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Paul Ammons
      Sun, 07 Jul 2013 at 08:16

      I am the father of the seven-year-old son and there is a parenting plan in place I am the primary caregiver for about 85% of his time.

      I was to undergo some surgery so in the best interest of my son I sent him out to stay with his mother this summer for an extended stay. I had been well for more than a month and the mother refuses to return the child to his home state and his primary caregiver. I even called in a mediator to mediate at no success. I live in New Mexico he is currently in Atlanta Georgia on a military base Fort Benning.

      I have filed a emergency motion to enforce the parenting plan and return minor child to home state of New Mexico.I also have a series of emails that clearly spell out my intentions and that them extended visit in no way changes the parenting plan.

      My question: is this a felony? I know it’s contempt of court and I’m doing everything I can not to put my son any kind of arms way for he is the one that is being held hostage until she gets what she wants. The mother said until she gets the parenting plan she wants she will not send the child back to his home state.

      Any Thoughts or suggestions?
      Dear Paul: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest you talk with your lawyer regarding the best approach to enforcing the parenting plan. It gets complicated when two states and, in your case, the military, are involved. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • tandy andy
      Tue, 16 Jul 2013 at 02:50

      i heard my daughter mother was taking my child from washington to colorado she did not let me know any of this i servered her a parenting plan befor she got out of state,she took my daughter anyways,is this abduction and will the colorado police retrievev my child for me
      Dear Tandy: We are an education site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to teens or adults.
      We suggest you talk with a lawyer in your area who practices family law. Good luck.

    • shawn
      Sat, 27 Jul 2013 at 04:12

      My ex and I just got done with a second herring we agreed to mediation paperwork I went to pick up my daughter directly afterwards and was denied she’s taking her on a vacation this weekend and notified they wete going but hasn’t provided the itinerary ofvthe trip she wouldn’t let me at least take her forvthe night before their trip I called the police who gave me a card stating she wouldn’t give her to me and my ex’s lawter told her send me the itinerary after all this to cover herself what can I do? Cause she’s tskong her outta town without my permission and removing my legal rights to my daughter
      Dear Shawn: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. You need to speak with a family law attorney about your rights. If you don’t have an attorney, you can call around and also ask whether they offer a free initial consultation. Otherwise, you could contact your local Legal Aid office to see if they provide assistance with family law matters. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • kacey
      Wed, 31 Jul 2013 at 12:04

      My husband and his 8 year olds mom were never married and have no custody agreement, he has her for the summer here in Louisiana she is from Michigan, her mom is bad on drugsvand its not a great environment for her…do we have to return herveven though there 8s no custody agreement…..can we file for an emergency custody order?
      Dear Kacey: If you have evidence that this child’s environment when home with her mother is detrimental to her well-being, you should talk with a local lawyer who practices family law. He or she will know the laws that apply here and advise you about how to proceed. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Amy
      Mon, 12 Aug 2013 at 11:51

      So, I’m 16 years old. My mom left my dad 8 years ago and my dad got custody over us. She has joint custody and we see her every other weekend. I’ve always wanted to live with her, but my dad would always say I could then take back what he said. He’s a terrible person from what everything he’s done to my mom and me. It’s also a control problem. He keeps me and my 14 year old sister locked up like an animal, and we never get out of the house unless we’re with him or going to school or a school event. This whole summer I’ve spent most of my time with my grandma or mom because my dad and I have had issues. He always calls me a liar. And he has threatend us. And called us names. Nobody thinks its safe. And I want to refuse to go home. I’m 16 so I am old enough to choose. Nobody thinks its safe for me and my 14 year old sister to go back. What should my mom and Grandma do?
      Dear Amy: Since your mom knows about this situation, she needs to talk with a family lawyer for advice. If your dad won’t agree to a change of custody, your mom may be able to ask a court to change the existing custody arrangement. She may be able to obtain a free consultation for a brief period of time and that may be all she needs to decide what to do. If she calls a lawyer, tell her to ask about this. Many lawyers offer free initial meetings as a way to get more clients. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jolene
      Fri, 16 Aug 2013 at 12:39

      My kids just went to Texas for the summer to spend time with their dad B/c I am their primary parent. I Drove all the way down to Texas from Ohio to pick them up and he refuses to give them back to me. I got the police involved and the military police b/c he is in the army. I thought this was kidnapping?? How is he getting away with this? Why won’t the law help me?
      Dear Jolene: AsktheJudge.info is an education website for about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you talk with a family lawyer about this situation. He or she will be familiar with your rights as a parent and the laws that apply to this intrastate matter.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • heartbrokenmommy
      Tue, 20 Aug 2013 at 01:55

      My husband and I separated and I had my children. I fell on hard times and my husband was caring for my babies. A boy and girl. His mom now has my kids and has filed a restraining order against him. They are refusing to let me pick up my children or even see them. Shouldn’t I have rights before them? Lawfully, can I take them if I had a chance?
      Dear heartbrokenmommy: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest you contact a family law attorney in your area for further information and advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Also, you could try contacting your local legal aid office for assistance. Good luck to you and your family.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • Anthony Jones
      Wed, 04 Sep 2013 at 03:58

      Me and the mother of my child currently have a court order that I get my son 3 days out the week and she hasn’t been meeting me to swap, could I file parental kidnapping for this matter? If not, what will the judge do once the court date comes ?
      Dear Anthony: Refusing to follow a court ordered visitation schedule can result in a finding of contempt and possibly jail. Whether the mother’s failure to comply constitutes parental kidnapping depends on the laws in your state. We suggest you speak with a family lawyer before the next hearing. He or she can explain to you your rights in this situation. The judge may change the visitation order or even custody depending on the mother’s attitude and facts of the case. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Angelita
      Fri, 13 Sep 2013 at 07:22

      I have custody of my boys, in 2012 I signed gaurdianship paperwork for my mother to be able to take them to the doctor if need be, she is now threatening me to sign custody over to her, she has also threatened me that “I better not pick them up from school or she would call the police.” Can I get in trouble for picking them up? I feel she has some pull since she is a deputy clerk in our small town.
      Dear Angelita: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. You really need to speak with a family law attorney in your area who can provide information based on your state’s laws as well as the circumstances of your case. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation or you could try Legal Aid for assistance. Check out our Resource Directory for resources in your state/area that may be able to help. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • sherina
      Tue, 29 Oct 2013 at 12:15

      Ok i have took care of my oldest child til he was over 4 and a half years old i felt like he should know his father once the dna was done his father got a lawyer and got joint and physical custody of him. There were no trials nothing that proved me unfit i didn’t have a lawyer because i didn’t even know anything about court. we had a telephone hearing i won by default guess he made up an excuse all i know is my child deserves better he deserves to know his father but he don’t deserve to be taken away from the only family he has known
      Dear Sherina: AsktheJudge.info is an educational site for and about teens and the law. We suggest you contact a family law attorney in your area who can answer your questions and possibly provide legal assistance. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation or you could try your local legal aid office. Check our Resource Directory for possible legal assistance near you. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • levan
      Fri, 15 Nov 2013 at 09:00

      I have visitation rights But the mother of my child has changed her number and address I have not talked to seen my kid in a year but she lives in pa and I live in NY how can I get this fixed
      Dear Levan: You need to contact a family law attorney to further assist you. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation or you could try contacting your local legal aid office to see if they could provide free assistance in your case. Finally, if you speak with a clerk at your local court about your options as to getting this matter addressed by a judge, you may be given some direction and/or the court may offer a free legal assistance program at which time you could meet briefly with a pro bono attorney.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • mary dodson
      Sun, 29 Dec 2013 at 09:03

      my son’s fiance took the kids to another state for Christmas with her family. she decided to stay without talking to my son. what rights does he have as a father? he had no prior knowledge of her staying. the plan was she was to come back. they have a biological child together.
      Dear Mary: We recommend that he talk with a local family law attorney. Some offer a free initial consultation. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teenagers. We are an educational site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • kyesha
      Mon, 06 Jan 2014 at 09:01

      I have full custody of my son he went with his father for a weekend visit and not returned because the father said he didn’t have tranporation. When our court order say child return to mother on sunday at 4 pm.. its now monday and I still haven’t heard anything bout my child.. what can I do?
      Dear Kyesha: Askthejudge.info is an education site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. As such, we don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens.
      We suggest you talk with a family lawyer in your area about your rights and what you can do in this situation. Also, your local court may have a program where lawyers provide free legal advice in domestic relations cases. Contact your court and ask about this. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Terrie Graves
      Sun, 02 Feb 2014 at 10:12

      Can a parent relocate without telling the other parent with joint custody? Although in the same city?
      Dear Terrie: It’s going to depend on the terms of your custody arrangements and the orders of the court. Refer to the custody orders and see what they say about one party moving. If you need further clarification, try consulting with a local family law attorney. Also, you could check with your local court to see whether it offers a free legal assistance program at which time you may be able to meet briefly with a pro bono attorney. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice.)

    • James
      Tue, 11 Feb 2014 at 04:37

      My wife is in prison and has over two years left for a violent crime. we have a 77 year old daughter who lives with me and spends alot of time with a friend that my wife gave temp gaurdianship too. After my wifes sister took our daughter to vist her mother. she refuses to bring her back and is saying that she plans to keep her? I have not seen or heard from my lil girl in 4 days? Please advise? We live in Cailf. thanks in advance RRegards J eaken
      Dear James: Assuming there are no custody orders in place, both parents are entitled to custody of the child. Of course, your wife’s care and control of your daughter are temporarily suspended by circumstances. We suggest you speak with a local lawyer who practices family law for advice. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Ask about this if you call. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Jerry B
      Mon, 17 Feb 2014 at 03:40

      My daughter was taken to DR by her mother. Her mother came back within months and fought for custody. I eventually won full custody. New York State ordered my child back. She refused and was issued a warrant for her arrest by NY State and eventually the FBI. 5 years have past with limited contact and now was arrested in Miami. She is supposed to be sent back to NY for trial soon. What are the charges you think will be against her? How many years do you think she can receive in jail? Should she be charged by the US government and State of NY for seperate charges ?
      Dear Jerry: AsktheJudge.info is an education site for & about teenagers and the laws that affect them. We don’t provide legal advice to adults or teens. We suggest you speak with a lawyer familiar with juvenile or family law. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • jennifer arant
      Sun, 09 Mar 2014 at 10:12

      My 15 year old son texted me my 12 year old & 11 year old leaved with us my Mom came just got them she has temporary custody. But, signed a paper give them back to me my son is winning to committee suicide. Please tell me what I can do
      Dear Jennifer: Wherever you live there is help in person, by telephone or online in cases of suicidal ideas. You can call the National Suicide Prevention helpline at: 1-800-273-8255 or in Spanish at 1-888-628-9454. It’s confidential and free. Don’t put off getting help for your son. Good luck.
      (This is information only – not legal advice).

    • Gomez
      Mon, 07 Apr 2014 at 04:28

      While I was pregnant with my son, my son’s father was dying paternity. Then after I gave birth he wanted to say he was the father. When I told him he wasn’t on his birth certificate nor did I give him his last name, he took him from my home. He had it planned to kidnap him from me whether or not he was really his. I called the policed and they charged him with kidnapping. He bailed out after he paid for a DNA test which proved all along that he is my sons father. now the district attorney’s office in my state/county don’t know whether to send the case off to a grand jury as a kidnapping afterall. I’m so upset because I don’t feel that it’s in my sons best interest for him to be in his life. I feel he deserves to pay for his crime.

      Ps. He’s been in jail before for family violence/assault and has done drugs before, plus there was domestic violence between us 2 week prier to my pregnancy. He lives with his mother & 2 older brothers who also have criminal records.
      Dear Gomez: If the case goes to grand jury, then there may be criminal charges filed against him. However, whether or not he’s in your son’s life is more of a civil matter. Therefore, you should consult with a family law attorney for further advice. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. You could also see if your local court offers a free legal assistance program at which time you could meet briefly with a pro bono attorney. If your son’s father is attempting to get custody, then you may need to address the issue now especially since you want sole custody. Best of luck to you and your son.
      (Check our Resource Directory for more help and resources in your area. This is information only – not legal advice.)

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