Can my husband just take our children and send them with another family member to another state without my knowledge or permission and not tell me where he sent them?

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Can my husband just take our children and send them with another family member to another state without my knowledge or permission and not tell me where he sent them?

We are still married and he had them for the holidays and when I went to pick them up I found out they were no longer there; he sent them away. What can I do?

Asked on January 1, 2016 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need to file for divorce asap... and obtain a restraining order or temporary orders so that there are official rules in place to prevent this from happening again.  This is basically a legal form of parental kidnapping... because there are no orders in place.  Once you have the orders, then the orders will limit his control over the situation. 
If you do happen to find the children in the care of a third person, then you can take the children from the possession of the third person... because your rights as a parent trump those of a non-parent. 
If you cannot afford an attorney, contact your local district clerk and bar association to obtain a list of non-profit organizations that can help you file for a divorce sooner than later.


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