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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 20012
Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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My friends husband packed up the four kids and left

Resolved Question:

My friend''s husband packed up their four kids and left state with his girlfriend. He stated his wife, my friend, was an unfit mother, and so the police let him take the kids while she was at work.(She is a terrific mother, and takes care of him and all the animals, they live on a very rural farm) He is a terminally ill man, currently in remission, and has been unfaithful to his wife after she had to go to work to buy his medicine to keep him well. Can he legally steal the kids and leave the state? What recourse does my friend, his still legal wife and legal guardian of the four kids, have if any?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Are there any court orders in place regarding custody?

How long ago has he left with the children and does she know where the children can be located?

What state does mom live and what state did father move to?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No court orders filed that we are aware of, there aren't any divorce papers filed yet either. She found the children gone last week when she got home from work and all she knows is they left for California. He did not say where he was going, but he does have family in the Fresno, CA area hills. My friend, the wife/mother, is currently residing at their farm in St. Joe, Arkansas (Near Little Rock)
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

Unfortunately without any court orders in place which limit or restrict custody rights, the father has the right to take his children. This is not considered kidnapping or interference with the mother's custody rights as there is nothing in the way of a court order to enforce the mother's rights. Both parents have the legal rights to custody/visitation and to relocate with their children when there are no court orders.

Recourse. Mother needs to file for custody of her children. Since the children's home state was In Arkansas, she can file for custody in that state. When she files she needs to request temporary custody orders to have the father return the children while a parenting arrangement is worked out.

Again only with custody orders in place would the mother have legal grounds to seek police enforcement under the parenting kidnapping laws, otherwise the police will not get involved.

She will need to serve him with the paperwork, so she should work on getting the father's contact information.

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