Nashville, TN asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Domestic Violence for Tennessee

Q: What can/should I do if my wife took our two children and left the state, and won't let me have any contact. Options?

On Dec 25, 2018 my wife left our home to visit family in KY with a verbal and mutual agreement to return home on the 27th. Long story short sometime on the morning of the 27th she inexplicably decided not to do this and filed for an order of protection alleging violence and abuse. This order was initially denied as it failed to present evidence of a clear and present danger, and was later rejected for similar reasons and the lack of jurisdiction that KY had over the case. Since the 27th she has not allowed any contact with my children and I have repeatedly asked for this. What, if anything, can I do about this? I've been shying away from the idea of divorce for various reasons (I'd rather we worked through any issues) but I understand that may not be my decision to make. I think it is worthy to note that she has several felonies on her record, and was abusive in our relationship, but I have no official record of these abusive episodes. I would like to secure custody of our children...

1 Lawyer Answer
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: File for divorce, ask for an emergency hearing, get her served with the papers and go to court. you need to establish jurisdiction here in your home county. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there aren't any other "options"-- for sure, don't try to take matters into your own hands or "steal" the children ( that would make you like her- using the children to try an d hurt the parent). Anyone who odes this could be found unfit to be the primary residential parent ( Tennessee no longer uses the word "custody"). Consult an experienced family law attorney for advice on your specific situation.

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