What can I do when my ex is withholding custody from me?
Please be advised that I am barred in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my experience in Pennsylvania.
When a parent is withholding custody, how to proceed depends on whether or not a court order has been entered.
If a custody order has been entered, then the issue becomes a matter of contempt and seeking sanctions, such as fines, make-up custodial time, and even jail time, to compel the opposing party to follow the court’s order. In this state, what sanctions are issued is in the judge’s discretion.
If the opposing party is withholding custody and there is no custody order in place, then, in this state, either an emergency or expedited petition for custody may be filed, depending on the circumstances.
In Pennsylvania, a party may only withhold custody if he or she has a justifiable good faith reason for doing so, such as protecting the children from physical harm, and seeks a modification or entry of court order upon withholding.
You should schedule an initial consultation with an attorney barred in your state at the earliest opportunity to discuss the facts of your case and your options for relief further.