Custody Laws: When Your Ex Refuses To Return The Children

Question:divorce lawyer Ashley Hughes

What are the child custody laws when the ex-wife says she will not return the children at the end of her parenting time?

My ex-wife took the kids on a two-week vacation during her allotted visitation, but now she says she is not returning them when their trip is over and the kids want to live with her now.

What should I do? Do I contact the police? How can I get my children brought back?


This answer only includes general divorce help for men since I am only licensed to practice in Colorado and am thus unable to provide any legal advice on divorce.

If there is no valid child custody or parenting time arrangement, then you can file with the court and request that one be implemented. The fact that the children state that they now want to stay with Mom is not necessarily dispositive of what is in their best interests.

For decisions involving children, the courts will consider what is in the best interest of the child. Each state has its own statute governing what factors it will consider to be the best interest of the children. Although the desires of the children may be considered they are not necessarily dispositive.

With regards to contacting the police, depending on the statute governing parental kidnapping in your, and depending on what, if any, custody order has been entered by a court, you may want to file a police report.

I would recommend speaking with an officer if she does not return the child by the time her authorized parenting time is over to see what recourse you may have.

Consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction for specific legal advice on divorce as I have only provided you general information. Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide.

To schedule an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Ashley A. Hughes, a Staff Attorney in the Colorado Springs, Colorado office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Custody Laws: When Your Ex Refuses To Return The Children

    What to do when your Ex is out of state and refuses to return the child after visitation
    I have a situation were I live in GA. My Ex have moved to CO. I have physical custody of our son. I sent him to visit her for her summer visitation and now she is refusing to send him back and claims that he wants to live with her now.

    I have filed a police report here in GA. I have called the Sheriff in CO and they say that they will not enforce the out of state order. The local authorities don’t seem to be able to help.

    It’s looking like I will need to spend thousands again for attorney’s to have an emergency hearing in GA and then more for another attorney in CO to try to enforce the orders. I am being told it could take months or years to get my son back and in the end, she will be lucky to get a slap on the wrist.

    I can not believe that the legal system lets this happen. Does anyone have any advise?

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