My apologies. I thought that the two of you had a custody agreement in place through the court
. If there is no custody agreement, then both parents have rights to the children naturally, and are expected to share them amicably. Of course, this does not always work out - as is evident here. The problem is that the parent is also free to keep the child away
from the other parent. So as much as you can not let him have custody, he can do the same. The oral agreement is not enforceable, I am afraid.
So if he has your children, if you feel that he means to flee jurisdiction
, then one can call the police. If not, one may be better off going to court and setting down a standard custody order
to avoid this happening again.
The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.
One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation may be granted by the Court.
Of course, that is the standard order of possession
. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.
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