Q: Should I just keep my son and make his father take me to court?
2 years ago I left my ex and took my kids, we were never married. My ex insisted on watching my kids while worked. I met someone AND got married. My ex insisted on my kids staying in that school until I found a place to live. We have never been to court, but my kids have stayed nights with my ex so they could go to that school. Now it's summer and I want my kids to live with me. What should I do? My ex makes all the decisions and tells when I can see them. He even took them out of state and just told me he had vacation from work but never said he was leaving state. I'm so frustrated. What can I do to have my kids?
Not to be flip, but you can start by standing up for yourself. He apparently has no court-ordered parenting time, but you have made a great case for him by leaving the kids with him, placing the kids in the school district in which he lives, and allowing him to make "all" the decisions regarding the kids including when you may see them. In fact, if there is no court order for visitation, and you were unmarried when the children were born, by Ohio statutory law you have sole custody right now. Thus, you could simply go get the kids. The police may or may not assist you in recovering the kids. Regardless, it won't be pretty and will be hard on the kids.
You have not said how old the kids are (although they are of school age), how long you lived with the father as a family (and how long the kids have attended their present school), or how long ago you left the kids with him. All of these factors will come into play in the inevitable court fight. Hire an experienced family law attorney ASAP.
A: I am sorry, the "2 years ago I left" did not appear on my screen initially. You have waited a long time to decide to take a stand. This length of time gives him an advantage in court. Likely he could get a temporary custody order from the court under these circumstances, particularly if your contact with the kids has been limited. Your circumstances during that two year interval could serve to mitigate your leaving the children. If he was violent toward you, and that was the reason you left, that could help your case. Your and his relationships with the kids will be important to the court. If you can document or corroborate any withholding by him of the children from you, that will help in court. Whether you or he attended school functions or parent teacher conferences will be of interest to the court.
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