How can I get my children brought back?


My wife of 10 years left last week with our two daughters out of state. She said she does not want a divorce but said she is never returning to Arizona. I have called and e-mailed numerous times and she will not respond.

How do I file to have the children brought back to Arizona? One child is missing school. Do I have to file for separation first then a temporary custody hearing?



I must preface my answer that I do not practice in Arizona. Each state has different laws governing dissolution of marriage. It is important that you contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Arizona prior to taking any action.

You should contact a lawyer specializing in family law immediately.  Your children being moved to another state without your approval requires emergent action.  You state that your wife does not want a divorce, but perhaps you should consider initiating one. Through the court system, a divorce is a logical vehicle in which to have a court order that your wife returns to Arizona with your children. Filing for divorce or separation is the first step in this process.  You must also figure out where your wife is located so that she may be served with the divorce papers.


Steven “Lee” Akins, Jr. is a Staff Attorney in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Akins practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations. He received his BBA in Finance from Southern Methodist University and continued his education to receive his Juris Doctor from Texas Wesleyan University.

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