Ex-Husband in Parenting Plan Takes Child
What can the Wife do?

Back to Divorce and Family Law Videos

Back to Divorce and Family Law Videos

Video Script Below

"I’m Steve Kramer. I’m a Florida family law and divorce attorney. And I want to tell you a story about a client of mine. I represented her and we were in the middle of a divorce. And we actually just mediated and we settled the case and she entered into a parenting plan with the husband. And immediately after that – almost a couple days later – he disappeared with the child. Basically kidnapped the child, disappeared, cut off all communication. She couldn’t get a hold of him; she’s beside herself in our office, baring her soul – just really in despair. And the question is what do we do? What do you do in a situation like that?

Here’s what we did. We actually filed what’s called an “emergency motion” with the court. And we asked the court to enter what’s called a pickup order. And that’s an order for the police to actually pick up the child and return the child to the custody of the mother. And generally in Florida, we don’t have a custody. But in a situation like this, where one of the parents disappears with the child and he’s totally incommunicado (which is a fancy word for you can’t get a hold of him), then the court can resort to measures like this to make sure we get the child back where the child is supposed to be. And to make sure that the other parent doesn’t disappear and kidnap that child. Now, it worked out well for my client. We were able to get the child back and then actually later we were able to go in front of the court and address the husband’s conduct with the court and there was some consequences for the husband relating to that. But if you’re dealing with a situation like this, first thing is don’t panic. Alright?

You can’t panic because sometimes there are alternate explanations that can explain what’s going on and we don’t want to jump to conclusions. So let’s make sure we get the facts and the evidence in front of us before we make a decision, because that’s an X factor here. We don’t want to file what’s called an “emergency order” unless it’s an actual emergency. Because if it’s not, you’ve destroyed your credibility in front of a court. And sometimes the court will no longer look at you the same way and sometimes they’ll tell you you can never file an emergency order with that court ever, ever again. Because you broke the rules, because you cried wolf essentially. So we want to make sure we have everything in front of us, all the evidence. That we do the emergency order the right way and we make sure it’s actually an emergency. And then that we have the proper follow through, that we make sure that we coordinate with law enforcement and try to resolve it peacefully in a way that doesn’t involve law enforcement if possible. And I’m telling you this because I’ve seen the issues; I’ve been on both sides of the table in family law cases over and over again. And if you’re dealing with a case like this – or any family law case – it’s important to have good advice and a good attorney to help you out. And I’d love to talk with you. Pick up the phone, give us a call, sit down with one of us, we’d be glad to talk with you. I’m Steve Kramer, thanks for watching."

Related: Child Custody and Parenting Plans

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