Can a spousemove out-of-state with your children?

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Can a spousemove out-of-state with your children?

I am deployed in Iraq and 2 days after I deployed my wife left the state. She left our rental home and didn’t pay the rent. She is now living in MD in a 2 bedroom apart with my 3 kids and 5 other people. One of them is a convicted child abuser. She spent close to $5000 and still claims she has no food for the kids. She is drinking heavily and on drugs. Can she just up and leave the state? We are not divorced. I am scared for my children right now. What are my rights? How can I get my kids? 

Asked on September 15, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The answer to that general question as to leaving the state is no, you can not take your children away from their other parent.  It could be considered kidnapping.  Here is your problem: you are in Iraq and not in Georgia but that should not really matter as to their safety. So you need to hire someone quickly to act on your behalf here - like an attorney - have someone apply for emergency guardianship of the children - like a grandparent or other family member - and get them back to a safe environment. The attorney may be able to have them removed via child services in order to have them placed safely for the time being but that will depend on state law and how well the authorities work together. Act quickly. Good luck.  


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