Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern and am sorry for the loss. Have you been able to contact him and demand her return?
Thank you for the additional information. The step father has no legal right or custody to the child. With the passing of the mother, you are the sole guardian of her and can demand that she live with you. Even at 17, she still can not have the final say in where she wants to live and who she wants to live with. If he refuses to require/demand that she leave and live with you, you can try and get the police involved or may have to proceed through the court and get the custody order modified. This way, she will live with you until she reaches the age of 18.
If he just took her to Kansas, the court would not be able to hear the matter since that is not her home State. Had they stayed in Washington, it could have been done there but at this time, Oklahoma could hear it
You can try now and contact law enforcement where they are at and report the situation. If they will not get involved, then it would need to be an emergency order filed to modify custody and get sole custody, as a result of the passing of the mother. Once this is signed and ordered by the Judge, he would need to turn her over. The other thing right now, is that if there is joint custody and your time for the child is now, he must turn her over or would be in violation of the order and could be charged with kidnapping.
You can contact the clerk of court, in the county where you file and speak with them in the family division and see if they have the form or can direct you online, where to obtain it, to file. The purpose is to show the Judge there is an emergency. In this case, the step father has the child without and legal right and refuses to return her.
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