My 4-year-old daughter has been living with me for the last few months since her mother recently moved out of state and is now living with her new boyfriend. We have not filed for divorce or discussed custody or anything.
After all this time not seeing her, she wants to come take my daughter for a weekend. I’m afraid that she won’t bring her back.
Can she keep my daughter if I let her go?
Each state has specific laws relating to child custody and I must preface my answer by stating that I am not licensed in the state of Louisiana. If you have serious concerns that the mother may not return with your child, you should contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state immediately to pursue a temporary custody and placement order.
The short answer to your question is no, your wife cannot “keep” your daughter even if you consent to her visiting for the weekend. Absent a court order, each parent has equal access to custody of their child. Generally you would file a temporary custody order inside a dissolution (divorce) action to determine a visitation/custody schedule.
Keep in mind that I am a Missouri attorney and cannot give you detailed advice about the laws in Louisiana. I can only give you general information in this answer. You should not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and you should contact an attorney in your area immediately if you need additional information or legal representation, as most parties in divorces/custody battles do.
William Halaz, III is a Staff Attorney in the Arnold, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. Mr. Halaz is licensed to practice in the state of Missouri. Mr. Halaz received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Southeast Missouri State University. Then continuing his education, received his Juris Doctor from St. Louis University’s School of Law.