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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13899
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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My boyfriends ex wife consistently leaves their 8 year old

Customer Question

My boyfriends ex wife consistently leaves their 8 year old son home alone at night to go to the bar. Several times already, their 17 yr old has come home to find the 8 yr old alone in an unlocked house. What course of action does my boyfriend have if any?
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Ohio
Customer: Also, the ex wife told their 17 yr old that she is moving to another County in a month and to find somewhere else to live. Can he stop her from taking their son with her?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No, my boyfriend thinks he will be told he has no options or rights. I'm trying to find some answer to give him a push.
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: His ex wife also had brain cancer last year. They removed the tumor which occupied about 1/4 of brain. Could be source of her recent behavior.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney. It will be my pleasure to assist.

I'm sorry to hear about the situation. There's a lot of potential danger in what she's doing, as I'm sure both you and your boyfriend recognize. I think there's several ways to approach this.

The first would be to contact the Office of Children and Families and file a report. While they would likely place the child (at least temporarily pending investigation). My concern there would be she could find herself having the police involved and charged with child neglect or endangerment for leaving him alone -and I don't know if that is what your boyfriend wants to do to his ex-wife, especially if this behavior wasn't typical of her prior to her surgery and tumor.

The other option would be to file for a change of custody because she is putting the child at risk (and I'm sure this is something he has told her that she cannot do time and again). While there's no set age a child can be left alone in Ohio, to leave a child that young at home at night and to go drinking is simply reckless and not in his best interest. He may even want to consider filing an emergency motion for change of custody to try and have the matter heard sooner. Modifications of custody are not easy matters to litigate -so my suggestion is he at least speak with (there's never obligation to hire one, and many offer free or low cost consultations) a family law attorney in his area. The Ohio bar association has lawyer referral services that can help him find a qualified attorney.

A parent with primary custody of children is not simply free to move away, depriving the other parent of quality time with them. That parent must get permission from a court to relocate the children, and the co-parent who would be left behind has an opportunity to object. So, no, she's not free to simply leave without his consent or permission and take his child.

If you need clarification or additional information, please REPLY and I'll be happy to assist.Otherwise, kindly remember to leave me a positive rating by clicking on the stars, so that I am credited for my time and information today. Thank you!

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Please remember to leave a positive rating for me so I am credited for my time and assistance. Thank you!

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

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