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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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I live in NC. My wife and I have a son who is almost 3 years

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I live in NC. My wife and I have a son who is almost 3 years old. We are not seperated or divorced, but my wife is in a residential 12 week program in Georgia and has told me that she wants a divorce. She has an 8 hour pass this Saturday, and wants her parents to visit her and bring my son with them. I am concerned that she may try to keep him there with her and not let her parents bring him home to me, since she will be getting out of the program that same week. She has made mention several times that she just wants them to bring my son to her and that she wants to stay there and not come home. If I allow him to go, does she have any right to keep him there? Also is there any legal documentation I can obtain that will prohibit her from keeping him in Georgia?

Dear nc daddy 86 - Since you are married and, I assume, there are no court orders with respect to your son then each of you has a right to your child. If she chooses to keep him in GA you would have to file a court action to get him back. It is up to you whether you want to let him travel but he will be out of NC jurisdiction so you would have to go to GA to get him back.


Unless you file for a divorce or legal separation and get a court order of custody you have nothing to enforce in a court of law to retrieve your son. Once you have a legal order of custody then you can enforce that in all states pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody laws. You will be taking a risk if you let him go without a court order of custody.


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