One of the most common questions we have in the Father’s Rights area of the law is what happens when a wife wants to move out of the house and take the children with her. People want to know the answer to this question more often than almost any other because father’s confronted with this situation are scared they will lose the right’s to their children. We’re here to let you know that father’s rights attorneys will fight for you but you must contact one immediately to protect your rights.
So, What Are My Rights if She Threatens to Take Them?
Right off the bat, you need to tell her that she cannot take your children away from their house. She has no right to do so because as a married couple, both of you have the same legal rights to joint physical custody and joint legal custody to the kids (in some states, this may be called “allocation of parental responsibilities” – so be aware that means the same thing as custody). Tell her that she can leave the home and move, but she can’t take the children with her – and do so IN WRITING. Then, immediately contact a father’s rights attorney who will put the gears in motion on your behalf.
Contacting an attorney in this situation means filing for divorce so that you can immediately file a motion or a petition for custody and possession of the children. You may also want to file a motion that asks for you and the kids to have “exclusive possession of the marital residence.” This is how you protect your rights as a father, but you must act quickly and be precise. An experienced father’s rights attorney will immediately put together some type of parenting agreement and will try to find a compromise with your wife or her attorney regarding the custody of the children, a visitation / parenting time schedule, and a plan for who pays what when it comes to child support and any other expenses needed for the kids.
What If My Wife Already Took My Kids?
Now is the time to act—you cannot wait even one day or you will put yourself at a serious disadvantage in the courts. If this just happened in recent days, get a father’s rights attorney who will immediately file an emergency petition for custody, visitation, and a return of possession of the children. Waiting weeks or months damages your chances at gaining custody because the courts will not want to upset the new schedule that kids may have become accustomed to.
In many states, the process of taking kids out of state (usually called ‘removal’ or ‘relocation‘ – depending on the state) is not allowed without seeking a court order. When you file a Petition for Dissolution / Complaint for Divorce, what you have done is forced her to stay within a certain geographical boundary with the kids or she will have likely violated a provision within the law. This means that neither person should make any type of significant change to possession or ownership of large property, personal items, or even the residential location/state of the children.
Every once in a while these things turn extremely ugly, and if this is the case, and you fear for the safety of your children, do not know where they are, or believe she may be attempting to leave the state that you live in, contacting the police is also a good idea. You have the right to know where your kids are and the right to have them live with you. Waiting is the number one reason father’s lose their custody cases. You cannot, in the eyes of the court, claim both: 1.) you want custody of your kids, AND 2.) but you waited for 5-months before filing to see them. Get started immediately by speaking with a father’s right lawyer who will fight for you and your family.