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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My wife will not allow me to see my son. We have not been

Customer Question

My wife will not allow me to see my son. We have not been living together for 2 years. She will not even let me know where he is living.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No. I am getting conflicting information as to how to proceed. I went today to the clerk of court, who advised me to hire a private detective.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: My wife sent my son to live with her sister in July of this year, without my consent. I believe he is not even in the State of Florida.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 8 months ago.

Hello, thank you for the question.

What state to you live in, and what state does your ex live in?

You're in the Canada Law category at the moment.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We both live in Florida. I believe my son who is only 3 years old is in Georgia.
Expert:  ulysses101 replied 8 months ago.

OK, I'm going to ask the site to move your question to the US family law category. Please be patient.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

Good evening. I am assuming that your wife is also the mother of your son. Do you know your wife's whereabouts?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I believe she works for Tampa university.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

Ok, so it sounds like you're not quite certain of her whereabouts. What I'm trying to ascertain is whether you could find her for the purpose of serving papers on her.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am certain where she works. I don't no her home address.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

Ok, and there's no custody order in effect, correct?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

Yes, last question (probably): how long do you believe your son has been out of state?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
He left on 8 July 2016
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

Ok, the first thing that I'm going to say is that under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, if a child is out of state for six months or more, jurisdiction to determine child custody can move to the state where the child resides (in fact, in some cases, it can change in less than six months). This means that if you wait until next year to file for custody and if the child has been relocated to Alaska (for example), you may end up having to fight for custody in the Alaska courts. I recommend that you consider whether you need to file for custody as soon as possible.

​That said, getting a private investigator isn't a terrible idea, but you don't want to end up in a tug-of-war with your child being shipped in and out of state, back and forth between homes. The practical solution is usually to just file for custody, serve the other parent, and then serve her with interrogatories and/or call her for a deposition. These are discovery tools that can be used to compel her to provide information like the child's whereabouts, everyone who has had contact with the child, etc. In fact, it can also be requested that the court order the child returned immediately regardless of where he is located

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

So how to proceed is up to you, but just filing for custody will usually give a parent the tools that they need to find their child. Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a rating once you are finished (it does not cost anything extra to do so, and it is the only way I may be credited for my answers.) Thank you!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 8 months ago.

You're very welcome. Have a good rest of your evening, and I'm glad that I could help.