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How do I get My Child Back if we Never had Custody Papers?

July 1, 2018

What will happen to the children in case our marriage ends?’ This is one of the most significant questions that couples in distress ask themselves. Naturally, parents have an equal right to custody. When there is a case of divorce, both parties can draw up an agreement agreeable by the judge or rather the judge makes a judgment in the interest of the child.

If parents separate without divorce or were never married- a custody agreement may not be in place. However, different states have laws on how such cases may be handled.

The law uses an instrument called ‘the best interest of the child’, in the event where there is no court order or agreement. It advices that the child should spend time with each parent after separation. This allows the child to have a relationship with each parent. However, the law does not define whom the child should spend time with or whom the child should live with.

In the case where one of the partners has a history of partner abuse

One (the other partner) can keep the child safe when there is no access order or custody agreement. You can also limit your partner’s contact with your children before getting a court order by having supervised visits or taking your children out in public.

What if your ex (mother of the child) takes your child out of state?

Each state has a different move-away law concerning custody. In the event, your ex wants to take your child to another state, hire an attorney to prevent your child from moving to another state. The attorney can help you file a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship Suit or Paternity suit. You have to sign Acknowledgment of Paternity for temporary orders (custody and geographic restrictions) to be effective.

What if the father took the child without your consent?

If the father of the child took the child without the consent of the mother, it would not be considered kidnapping. And the father will not have violated any court order if there is no custody agreement.

To avoid the child being taken away from you, get a custody order from the court to stop the mother or father moving away with the child to a different state without your consent or preventing contact with the child.

You can also file for Allocation of Parental Responsibility to form a parenting plan to avoid conflict with your ex-partner in case there is no court order or custody agreement.

What if we separated with my partner with no divorce, custody or temporary orders?

Without a custody order, no parent has full custody of the children. In this situation the law allows joint custody, putting in place the interest of the children. However, when you two cannot solve custodial issues, it is advisable to file for custody. If the children are in danger or at risk you can always file an emergency action.

In the event of the married, unmarried, divorced, separated parents and non-legal parents.

Married parents

In the event, the parents are married, and there is no custody order, the parents have joint custody. Both parents have equal custody rights unless a court order is issued.

Just in case, the parents of the child are not in the agreeable parental plan, one of the parents can file for a divorce or custody action to get a court order for custody.

Unmarried parents

The law in most states rules that the mother of the child is entitled to sole legal custody unless the court rules otherwise. If the father would want custody of the child if the parents are not married, he will need to partake paternity and request the court for a custody order.

If the father of the child takes your child away and not returning the child, you might ask the local police for help. If the local police do not help, you can file a case asking the court for the return of the child from the father. And when the child is returned, you might consider keeping the child home until you obtain a court order.

Divorced parents

The divorce papers should show you what type of custody was awarded (joint custody, legal, sole or physical custody). In this case, the latest court order on custody is the one to be followed.

Separated but not divorced

The law rules that separated couples without divorce will still maintain their responsibilities as parents. They have joint custody of the child. They are both allowed to take turns in physical custody and spend equal time with the child.

During this time no parent should prevent the other from having quality time with the child or deny the other parent to see the child.

A non-legal parent

In the event when either of the parents is the biological parent—in most states the biological parent is given almost the rights, and the other partner is given almost nothing. The non-legal parent maybe handed little or no right to visitation.

Generally, an overview of legal guidelines will not give you all the answers you seek. Each state has its laws governing custody of a child. Circumstances may be similar, but the ruling will differ.

If you want your child back without custody papers, you can always get your child from your ex by;
• Seek legal counsel from an attorney who has handled similar cases.
• Taking the child by yourself.
• Get police involvement

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