What to do if have 2 children and we are being emotionally/verbally abused by my husband so I need to get out of the house with them but don’t want to be accused of kidnapping or anything else that would hurt getting custody?

Asked on September 22, 2015 under Family Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there are no order in effect, then you can take the children and move into a new residence or into a women's shelter if you fear domestic violence.  If he won't go to counseling, then you need to take steps to protect your emotional health and that of your children.  I know this is easier said than done most of the time because people want to do the right thing.  However, when someone choses to be abusive emotionally or physically and they chose not to seek counseling, then they have really made the choice for you.  You will not hurt a child custody case if you leave.  In fact, the longer that you stay, the more you will make it appear as if "it's not that bad..." because you didn't leave sooner.  If leaving is not what you want or feel you need to do right now, at least seek counseling.  Most communities have counseling centers availabe at the local shelters.  Go talk to someone about when the time is right. 
On the legal front, as long as there is not an order in place that says you cannot take the children, you can take the children and not be charged with kidnapping.  Kidnapping is only when you take someone else's child without their consent... or your own child who is in the custody of another like the State or a court appointed guardian.

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