Can my husband leave with the kids?

My husband says he is leaving again. He has left before and all he says is he is not happy. He treats me with disrespect suddenly. He does not talk to me about anything. If I try to talk or say anything to him he bites my head off. The kids get nervous when he is home because they see how he is treating me. He has never took the kids when he has left before but I want to know, if he tries can I stop him from taking the kids?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Thank you forsubmitting your question regarding child custody and marital issues.  Unfortunately, your situation, as you described, is not an uncommon one.  Many couples have large disagreements and fights and during the heat of the moment people tend to say things in anger.  Sometimes those comments involve leaving their spouse forever and taking the kids with them.  Sometimes the threats include that the other spouse will never get to see their children again.  While at times those comments can be empty threats, if you believe that your spouse’s comments have any truth behind them, then it may be better to perceive his statements as having some truth to them, so you may want to take action to protect yourself and your children.

First, if at any time you believe there is a question about your safety and/or the safety of your children, you need to contact the legal authority to report any and all forms of abuse, whether emotional and/or physical.  There may come a time during custody proceedings that you need to demonstrate a pattern of abuse in order to restrict visitation or custody from your spouse, and if you do not have some sort of record of events that took place demonstrating the threat to your safety or your children’s safety, the court may not believe your story that your children would be in an unsafe environment if left in the custody of your spouse. 

If you think your husband may want to leave your marriage, you may want to start the divorce proceedings, so that you can also start the proceedings for child custody and support.  If there is a court order in place, your husband could not take the children from you at any time.  And if he did violate the order, he may face jail time.  If you need more assistance with these issues, contact a family law attorney in your area that can walk you through the process step-by-step.

 


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