If I have custody of my son but his father took him and won’t give him back, what can I do?

I’ve had my son 2 1/2 years without the father in his life and when I put child support on him he said he didn’t want to pay me. So he said that he would take my son and try to make me pay child support. He has had him since Thanksgiving.The police won’t do anything.

Asked on July 20, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to return to the court that issued the custody order. As of now, your husband is in vioation of that order and can be held in contempt. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, he may be charged with parental kidnapping. In either case, your husband will be forced to return your son to you.

Since this has gone for so long, I can only assume that you have done nothing more than speak with the police due to finances. However, if your are income eligible you may qualify for Legal Aid. If not, you can contact the state bar association (or the local county bar association) and see if they have any attorneys willing to do "pro bono" work on this type of case. If so, what this means is that you may get legal representation for free or at least for a reduced cost. You can also see if there is a law school nearby to where you live; many times they have legal clinics that take these kind of cases for no charge. Finally, speak with the Social Services office in your area. If they can't help, they will most probably direct you to someone who can.

Frankly, you need to take action ASAP. The longer this situation continues the worse it will be for all partes involves, especially for your son.

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