Can a mother take her children and move without telling the father?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a mother take her children and move without telling the father?

My brother and sister-in-law have been separated (not legally) for 2 months. My sister-in-law decided to go stay with her parents (who live 2 1/2 hours away) for, which said, a couple of weeks and she took their 3 children( ages 9, 6 and 1) with her. She served my brother with divorce papers after she had been gone a week and listed her and the children’s address as her parents and said she has now moved there with the kids. She never advised my brother that she would be permanently staying and will not let him take the children(there is no threat of danger). Is this legal?

Asked on July 25, 2011 Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your brother.  He needs to get an attorney immediately to deal with this matter.  He needs to file an answer to the petition for divorce and he needs to speak with the attorney about filing an expedited motion (called an Order to Show Cause in some states) requesting that the children be returned to their home and for temporary custody pending the outcome of the divorce. He needs to argue that she has taken the children too far away for any meaningful contact with him for visitation and custody.  He agreed to the move there in the beginning and that may be her argument at this point.  But he can state that the agreement was supposed to be on a temporary basis and not permanent.  Now, make sure that the divorce papers are proper in the first place.  In order to file for divorce you need establish residency not only in a state but in a county.  Good luck to you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption