I divorced my ex-wife wife years ago and our divorce agreement calls for 50-50 shared custody.
However, she has disappeared and took our kids with her. I don’t know how to find her but I think some of my family members might be in touch with her.
What should I do? I’m desperate to see my boys.
I am not licensed to practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning parent time and visitation.
This is a common problem that a lot of people encounter after a divorce.
First, I cannot stress enough that you need to do everything he can to try and find your ex-wife and your children. I understand that this happened without your consent or knowledge.
However, it is your legal rights that are potentially affected in very negative ways if you do not do everything you can to find them.
If years go by without you seeing and having a relationship with your children, your ex-wife could eventually petition the court to have your parental rights terminated.
Second, you need to document the efforts you make to find them; you may need that proof in court one day.
You have several things you can do to try to locate your ex-wife.
First you should read your divorce decree and see if there are any provisions that state that you are to keep one another informed of their addresses. If that is the case, you could take her to court for failure to abide by the provisions of the divorce decree.
I understand that taking her to court requires finding her so that she can be served. However, you should be able to get her last known address from the court and if that is not her current address, you should work with a lawyer to obtain alternate methods of service.
You should also see what information your family members can get for you. If a family member has or can get information about what school the children attend, then you would know a general area of where they live.
If finances allow, you could hire a private detective to find her. If you are paying child support through a state collection agency, you could contact them to try to find her as well. They are not likely to give you her address, but you could work with his case worker to send her a letter letting her know that you are trying to locate her and provide her with his contact information.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general parent-time tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.