What to do if my husband is refusing to return kids to me and is disobeying a court order?

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What to do if my husband is refusing to return kids to me and is disobeying a court order?

I have temporary orders for my 2 kids. It is a joint conservatorship and I am the primary home with my husband having Thursday nights and 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekend. He took them for his weekend and now refuses to bring them back and even has been calling my oldest in sick at school; he had my 4 year old call me to tell me he didn’t want to come home.  He filed a report saying my boyfriend beat my youngest because of a bruise and scratch on his back; the sheriff’s office called the case unfounded. However, he is still refusing to return them and the law cannot help without the order we are waiting on a hearing for.

Asked on February 4, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

Jonathan Griffin / Griffin Law, PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should file a motion for contempt. If the reason he states for not returning the children has been deemed unfounded he is in willful contempt. Of course, if he really feels there are abuse issues he may seek an emergency order. At least this will lead to a hearing where all relevant evidence can be presented and considered by the Judge.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, if your husband with whom it appears your are estranged has the children a certain number of days but has joint custody, then there is not much you can do. Further, if he suspects child abuse (especially if told to him by his children), the law will be on his side as to his keeping the children until this is all sorted out. If the sheriff's office called the case unfounded, it doesn't mean child protective services has or even the prosecutor's office. At this point, he may be also filing orders for full custody and if there is a hearing that is coming up, that is the best time for you to present evidence that he is contempt of the order and there is no abuse.


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