Can i leave the state with my children and then file for custody?

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Can i leave the state with my children and then file for custody?

My wife is having an affair. She has threatened to not let me see my 2 kids if I didn’t continue supporting her financially and that she would take them back to her country (both kids US citizens). I’m a trucker but I plan on quitting and moving to another state to my parents temporarily; I have another job lined up. Is it legal to go home and take my children immediately and relocate within the US and file for custody shortly after my arrival?

Asked on November 20, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you take your children from their "home" state and move without consent or court order across state lines you could be charged with kidnapping.  And from the sound of your wife I think that that could be a distinct possibility here.  Now, if you fear that she will take the children out of the country I would find their passports and put them some where that they are safe.  Then maybe I would seek help from an attorney to help you with obtaining temporary custody and with an order allowing you to leave the state.  I think that this is the best alternative for the moment. Otherwise there could be severe consequences.  Good luck.


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