If my wife and I have separated, can I legally take my children into my custody and refuse to give them back to her?

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If my wife and I have separated, can I legally take my children into my custody and refuse to give them back to her?

We have both moved out of our home. She doesn’t take good care of our children and they are not enrolled in school. She told me to come get the kids (move them in with me) and enroll them in school 2 days ago. Now she tells me I can’t have them. Can I take my kids and refuse to give them back?

Asked on August 23, 2012 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

Antonio Mari / Mari Legal Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is impossible to predict how such a scenario might play out because you both currently have full custody of the children. The proper course of action is to immediately file for a divorce and in those papers request custody of the children. As part of your filing you can request a temporary hearing so a judge can quickly give you custody.


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