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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23940
Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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My soon to be ex husband and I are separated. 6 months ago

Customer Question

My soon to be ex husband and I are separated. 6 months ago my son went to live with him and my daughter remained with me. My son now wants to live home (he is 12). There was no formal custody agreement in place however I filed for custody yesterday formally. Am I required to force my son to return there? He doesn't want to go.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Additional info: I maintained the family home with no support from my estranged husband which is the home the children have lived in since 2008 (they are 10 & 12)
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

I certainly understand the situation and your concern. No, you would not be forced to return the child. The reason why I say this is because there was an agreement with the spouse, as to who will keep the child and if now, they want the child back, it would need to be ordered by the court. If you filed for formal custody yesterday, the matter would need to be heard, before any party is forced to do anything. The court is always going to act in the best interest of the child, so you want to make sure any argument made, supports that.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. My son is home with me now and wants to remain as such. To make sure I understood correctly; even though I "got him" for a visit I am legally able to keep him with me if that is his choice (my sons)?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

Not exactly. If this was a visit and there was an agreement, the child should be returned. However, if there was nothing formal, you have just as much right to the child as the other parent, so if you wanted to keep him, that is at your discretion, since there is no court order in place, at this time. However, your son never has the final say and that will be up to the Judge.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

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Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 11 months ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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