Can Your Spouse Take Your Children?


When a couple plans to divorce, things can get emotional and sometimes dangerous. Anytime a child is involved, issues can take on a higher level of importance to both the parents and the law. Children deserve legal protection and many parents are unaware of their own custody rights and protections. Read on to learn more about keeping your child safe from a parental kidnapping.

Parental Rights

Some parents mistakenly believe that they can remove children from a situation and do whatever they wish with them. Regardless of whether you are married, separated, or divorced, your spouse cannot take the children and leave the area without your permission. Even if your relationship seems great, no parent has sole custody rights unless so ruled by a court. If you suspect your spouse of either planning to take your children or they've already acted, you must take legal action quickly.

Holding the Marriage Hostage

Many marriages persist for years longer than they should due to fear. Parents that believe the threats of spouses to abscond with their children tend to be hesitant about taking divorce actions. Mostly this is due to fear of the unknown. You do have rights to parent your child, however. If you have been threatened by your spouse, you must seek legal help by speaking to a divorce attorney. Sometimes, just knowing what your rights are can make the situation more tolerable and allow you to take the action you need to take.

Understanding Temporary Orders

Speaking with an attorney and having a judge issue a temporary order can work to help keep your child safe. You don't need to file for a divorce to be protected—parents who are about to be separated, are separated, or are in the process of divorce all have legal protections. These orders will state the exact circumstances under which your spouse can spend time with the child. Failing to follow those orders might mean contempt of court charges. Additionally, when the time comes to decide on custody for the divorce, the family courts will take into account any previous orders issued. While a temporary order might only appear to be a piece of paper, it can often be enough to keep things civil until the final divorce petition is issued.

Taking It Nationwide

Spouses that attempt to take a child over state lines can incur an increased level of legal protection. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act gave law enforcement the power to enforce child custody orders all over the country. It prevents that spouse from attempting to use a different court to obtain a new order as well. The Parent Locator Service is used by the district attorney's office to coordinate various law enforcement agencies to protect a child that has been kidnapped by a parent.

Speak to your family attorney to learn more.


24 October 2018

changing a child's last name after a divorce

When I began the divorce process, I knew that I wanted to change my name back to my maiden name. I no longer wanted to be associated with the family name of the man that I was divorcing. The problem was, I have three kids that all had their father's name. I wanted to know if I would be able to change their last names to my maiden name rather than having them carry that family's name for the rest of their lives. I found out a lot about what it would take and began working to create this blog to help other women wanting to do the same thing.