What to do if my spouse left the state before he could be served with with papersprohibiting him from doing so?

UPDATED: Jan 11, 2011

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What to do if my spouse left the state before he could be served with with papersprohibiting him from doing so?

I am living in WV and I have filed for divorce in the state of WI where my ex-husband has lived for the last few years. When I filed there was an order to show cause, written in there was the statement that he was not to leave the state of WIwith our son. He left with him before he could get served. He now tells me that he doesn’t have to go because he wasn’t served. What do I do now the court date is in less than 2 weeks.

Asked on January 11, 2011 under Family Law, West Virginia


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You do not need him to be served with the order to show cause - which is just a request for quick relief - to support you in this matter.  Taking children out of state and away from the other parents ability to see them is against their rights as parents and is considered kidnapping. Do you have an attorney in this matter?  Well, you need to get one and you need to let your husband know that you mean business.  Instead of serving him with divorce papers think differently.  Is the court appearance in two weeks to determine temporary custody?  If you needed to serve him then it will be moot.  So discuss bringing an ex parte action for temporary custody possibly in another court that will allow you to bring the action outside the action for divorce and to report the kidnapping.  You need to do this quickly.  Be strong.  Good luck.

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