What If HeShe Won’t Return The Child?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have a court order in place giving each parent a time sharing schedule.   The other parent won’t return the child per the court ordered schedule.  You can do one of several things:

You can call the police and maybe they will intervene and maybe they won’t.  It depends upon how busy they are at the moment.  The real truth is that keeping one’s own child is not a criminal act unless the child is removed from the country.  Otherwise it is a civil matter and up to the discretion of the police if they want to get involved. 

You can call your lawyer.  The lawyer will file for an immediate pick up order if the child is endangered.  Or if not, the lawyer will file a motion for contempt and enforcement of the court order.  However, this takes time to get into a court hearing.  Such issues are not seen as emergencies by the judge unless the child is somehow endangered.

You can appeal to the common sense of the wrong doing parent.  This usually does not work.

Where there is no court order for time sharing or custody in place yet, as in a paternity case that has yet to be adjudicated, or in a divorce case that is still pending and time sharing has not yet been established, that makes it more difficult to control.

The best advice is to get some arrangement agreed upon and make into a court order as soon as possible.  That way, if one of the other parent keeps the child without permission, and in violation of the court order, you have recourse.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.