Abducted

Heather - posted on 08/13/2013 ( 33 moms have responded )

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MO: 9-year-old son abducted by bio-father. Whereabouts unknown. Never married. Never filed custody. I want my son back home. Police say it is a civil matter and will not get involved.

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Jodi - posted on 11/17/2015

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Stephanie, if there are no orders that she has custody, then the police won't get involved because he has as much right to the child as the mother does. What part of that is so hard to understand? There need to be actual court orders before anything can be legally enforced. Parents who choose not to go through the courts to establish custody and visitation risk this kind of thing happening.

It's interesting that in another post, you actually condoned the mother abducting a child and moving far away, but in this instance, you can't believe the police won't get involved when dad does it......

Jodi - posted on 08/14/2013

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Well, you don't have custody papers. This is not a kidnapping or abduction. He is the father. It is only an abduction if you legally have custody, which you don't because you never filed. No wonder the police won't get involved. You need to talk to a lawyer and file for custody if you want him back.

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Raye - posted on 11/18/2015

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Stephanie, I agree with the others that have spoken against simply moving away with the child and hoping the other parent gives up. There is a legal process to follow for the child's and the parents' protection. If you take matters into your own hands, it could turn horribly sideways and you could lose everything including your children. Just because it worked out for you doesn't make it right. Just because it seems morally right doesn't make it legally right. You have to do it legally.

Stephanie - posted on 11/17/2015

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to heather good luck with your situation seeing as this was first posted years ago and I hope all turned out well..

Jodi - posted on 11/17/2015

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Oh, the mum can absolutely leave the father - I will always endorse that. What she can't do is "abduct" the child and move far away removing the child from the other parent without the court's approval. Just as the father in this case is wrong to "abduct" the child without the court's approval. There are ways to get a quick temporary custody hearing to avoid these issues. But the fact is, if you don't have legal custody, you don't have any more rights than the other parent. If you see that as negative, then protest the system, not me - because I didn't make the law. I am simply stating it as it is and asking that you don't give bad advice.

And yes, I am helping these people, because if they don't have LEGAL custody (i.e. been through the courts to establish it), then they could lose custody altogether taking your advice. Based on MY experience, I have seen this happen, even in abusive situations - not ideal for the child.

In the BEST interests of the child, one should ALWAYS establish it legally to avoid the issues. And if someone advises otherwise, I will always advise against it in the best interests of the child. So nothing personal (you seem to have taken it personally), just wanting the OPs to understand that your advice could potentially be problematic.

Stephanie - posted on 11/17/2015

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Well I'm so glad that you seem to know everything..I said that mom should leave cause her ex beat her up and I stand by that..it's sad that you find it more important to slam me for giving my opinion rather than just answering the post and giving yours..I may not agree with what you say to others but I'm not going to attack you for it..if it makes you feel better than have at it but if all these forums are going to be is a slam fest on people's views it's not going to help the person actually asking for advice..they read these and it doesn't mean they have to take the advice given its meant for people to have a voice...I was beaten by my ex and I moved away with my kids and it helped me and not the courts or the police thought I did anything wrong..I lived her situation so I gave her my opinion..can you say the same? I'm not going to reply to anymore of your negative comments to my posts

Stephanie - posted on 11/17/2015

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WHAT? You don't know where your child is and the cops won't get involved where the hell do you live the moon? I just don't get the law sometimes..anyways go to court where you are and file for sole custody NOW don't wait another minute cause it will look bad on you that you didn't do it immediately..at the very least your allowed to know your child is safe and then the police will have to look for him and let you finally know where your child is..good luck

Heather - posted on 02/20/2014

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Rule number one: Don't allow fathers name on birth certificate.
Rule number two: Get custody and don't trust the father to do the right thing.

Heather - posted on 02/20/2014

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Legally speaking he may not be considered a kidnapper...but he took my child and did not give him back to me. Our son...who has lived with me his entire life. So to me he is a kidnapper.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/20/2014

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Yes, it is true. And, you need to stop calling his father a kidnapper, as he is not a kidnapper. You did not have initial custody determined, which means that either of you can say that you're the 'primary' caregiver, but without that court order, the matter will remain a civil matter.

You stated that he had paperwork supporting his custody of the child, so you have to go through the legal routes to have that amended. If you keep the child now, since the motion has been filed, then you would be considered the 'kidnapper'.

Good thing they've assigned a GAL for the child, because that may be the only way his views will be heard in an unbiased manner.

Heather - posted on 02/20/2014

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My lawyer said I could go to jail if I keep my son instead of returning him since this motion was filed. I don't know if this is really true.

Heather - posted on 02/20/2014

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I have been primary care taker for my son. His father pays child support to me. I have let his dad have visitation and have always been more than cooperative. He just wanted to keep him and knew he could get away with it apparently. His dad filed for primary custodial rights, transferred my son's school and now I get to see my son only on the weekends. I kept him instead of returning him one weekend to re-enroll him in the school he has attended for 4 years until his dad took him and his dad had his lawyer file a motion for me to 'return the child'. The judge did not make a judgement on the issue but said the child should return unless he is in a harmful situation, appointed my son a guardian ad litem and set a court date for a custody hearing. My lawyer said I needed to give child back to kidnapper dad at this time, even though the judge did not rule for me to have to do so. The lawyers talked and said that is what needed to happen until the court date. I told them I disagree and that my son needs to come home. Apparently no one understands what my son and I want and have to wait for court I suppose.

Deborah - posted on 02/19/2014

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And actually, I too must point out that the assumptions that I'm speaking of are about the particulars surrounding the child that Heather DID NOT outline that everyone based their rebuttals on, not some statement of a police officer.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/19/2014

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Actually, I must point out, Jodi DID NOT assume anything regarding whether it was a civil matter...

The OP clearly stated that she was told it was a civil matter, by the police

Deborah - posted on 02/19/2014

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Jodi, you are correct that I'm assuming. MY quote from the other day was " And the only thing I have assumed is that she was. Heather has not claimed affirmative or negative. " You are also assuming, your quote: " so I am going to assume that because the police refused to intervene, it is a family court matter, therefore it is a CIVIL matter, not criminal. I'm not going to assume that because you are a legal secretary that you know the law in every state and country in the world." So you're only going on what you're assuming, and so am I. The back and forth is really moot. And as far as learning a SPECIFIC law...yes, you can learn a SPECIFIC law in every state and country. That's what Westlaw is for. :-)

Jodi - posted on 02/19/2014

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Deborah, here is the thing. The OP has simply said that her son was 9 years old and abducted by the bio father. Nowhere has she said that she has always had sole custody. How do you know he hasn't always HAD 50/50 visitation and now decided he didn't want to share? How do you know he hasn't been trying to get visitation and HE can't afford the lawyer and she has been refusing and he wasn't just desperate? We know NOTHING about the situation. And the fact remains that in many places, fathers have equal rights, married or not. Maybe not where you live, but they should! If you are legal secretary in a family law firm, please don't tell me you don't see hundreds of women coming through trying to screw their exes out of custody by whatever method they can. It happens....a LOT. I'm not in any way condoning what this father did - it isn't in the interests of the child at all. However, we don't know the story from EITHER parent here (nope, the mother has given us nothing), so I am going to assume that because the police refused to intervene, it is a family court matter, therefore it is a CIVIL matter, not criminal. I'm not going to assume that because you are a legal secretary that you know the law in every state and country in the world.

Jodi - posted on 02/19/2014

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I don't live in the US. This is an international site. You are also making some pretty full on assumptions that the OP's son's father has never had anything to do with him since birth. Believe me, our laws are a hell of a lot better than yours, and our legal process is FAR less expensive. In fact, in most cases, no lawyers are needed because of the way our system works.

And what you just stated is not what has been described by the OP. You have just made an awful lot of ASSumptions. You keep assuming she had sole legal custody. You have no idea what state she lives in, or even if she is in the US. So attacking other women on here who have a different opinion about the issue is simply not appropriate. Surely, as some legal secretary (you are NOT a lawyer, so not particularly an authority on the matter), you are aware that laws vary from state to state and country to country, right? So attacking others and telling them they are wrong, when all we are saying is that your information is not necessarily accurate, as it depends where you live, is actually demonstrating your lack of knowledge on the issue. You certainly seem to think as a legal secretary you know it all, but you simply don't. Neither do I......but I haven't tried to pretend I do. I have simply given some advice that MAY be accurate depending on where the OP lives.

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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And Jodi, I hear you and glad I don't live in your state where a parent who doesn't know the law enough to go or understands to just go ahead and get a custody order if you're not married yet works and raises their child solely for years can be presumed to have 50/50 custody with a non primary custodian based on the fact his azz was kind enough to put his name on the birth certificate one fine day.

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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Shawnn I don't know what state you live in but I would LOVE to live there when I was going thru my custody nightmare. I live in the Maryland, DC area and the hearings took place in New Jersey and Georgia there are NO attorneys in any of these areas that took less that $1500. I'm a single mom and only me and God knows that I called every attorney in the yellow pages so again, that's been my experience in various states.

Again, I haven't touched on the fact that this is or IS NOT an abduction. MY child was abducted. I had SOLE LEGAL AND PHYSICAL CUSTODY and my child's father took her from another state and when I called the police THEY would not intervene. That's called interference of child custody and is a felony in most states. I'm using my circustances in comparisons to hers. It didn't matter that I had a custody order because police are not TRAINED to deal with these civil issues that can intertwine into criminal issues. Though she DIDN'T have a custody order and that child LIVED WITH HER FOR 9 YEARS and the fact that she doesn't KNOW WHERE HER CHILD IS...that is considered abducting a child. This isn't that the other parent wanted visitation for a while...the way she's describing it, it's as if he took this child with no conversation, or warning or interest for the child. Heather states this child was 9 yrs old. If I took your car that you've had for 9 yrs wouldn't you report it stolen? But why would you if it isn't paid for? It technically doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the lien holder. Bad example? Maybe, the point is, when someTHING nevertheless a CHILD from your body is taken without warning, it's technically STEALING. But because it was a child, I would use the word ABDUCTED. Merriam Websters definition is: abscond (with), snatch, to seize. If she doesn't know where her child is...then he was abducted in my opinion.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2014

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Read what I wrote....it depends where you live. I'm glad you know the law where you live and work. But where I live what you are saying is bullshit.

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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LOL! Jodi, whether written by the a retired engineer or because the article was written by a OHIO author, doesn't change the facts of presumption. You keep utilizing the term LEGAL Custody. And I would agree with you regarding LEGAL custody. But that's not what I said. (reread) A PRIMARY custodian, is one who has day to day PHYSICAL care of a child. This is about a child (I like YOU and EVERYONE else is presuming) that was with her mother and then the biological father came and took that child. This is about being PHYSICALLY removed from a PRIMARY custodian. I said not one thing about LEGAL custody which gives a person the right to make decisions about the day to day care of a minor. And I'm thrilled you can google as well because since you have that skill you can also google a cite that disputes my sources. You are correct that different states have different laws and ALL are not uniformed. But it still doesn't change the FACT that a parent who has PHYSICAL PRIMARY DAY TO DAY care of child can have their child RIPPED away by another parent and that there are no penalties in place. All I'm saying is that she DOES need an order and a court case so a judge will hopefully hear the evidence that she was the PRIMARY. And the the only thing I have assumed is that she was. Heather has not claimed affirmative or negative. And as far as your source, Jennifer Wolf, is a Certified Parent Coach NOT an attorney. I've had BARRED ATTORNEYS tell me such and so and were as wrong as the day is long. So if you want to quote in "In most states and many countries now, legal custody is assumed to be 50/50, regardless of the marital status of the parents" then I would put you up to the task to name those states since you're quoting what Jennifer wrote. I refute that and will state that there are many states that DO presume that a natural mother unwed has the presumtion of being the primary custodian.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2014

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LOL...Threats?

Really? And you couldn't find ANY attorneys with sliding scale, or anything else? Well, ya didn't look very hard. The absolute MOST I've ever had to spend to retain an attorney was $50. And, that attorney most definitely DID have a sliding scale, did allow payments, and did work with legal aid cases as well. So, other than saying that you need to do more research than just for your immediate area, I'll also say, in agreement with Jodi, that your FACTS have some issues with them.

If the OP was informed that it is a civil matter, then there is some level of custodial responsibility assigned to both parties. This is not an abduction, and needs to be treated correctly.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2014

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LOL, Deborah, that "ezine" article was written by a retired engineer. The first link you provided cited Ohio law. Did you check the authenticity of your source? The FACT is, it depends where you live. In most states and many countries now, legal custody is assumed to be 50/50, regardless of the marital status of the parents.

I can use google too.
http://singleparents.about.com/od/legali...
"You should be aware, as well, that many states either make no presumption of custody based on whether the father is on the birth certificate, or presume joint custody even in cases where the parents were never married."

I know for a FACT that where I live, unmarried parents are assumed to have 50/50 rights. If paternity hasn't been established, then obviously that needs to be established, but in this case, the OP has stated clearly that this person is the father. If the police have said that it is a civil matter, then yes, he is assumed to have some level of legal custody,

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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You're obviously slow because I DID cite a source in my last post and oh Shawnn, here's another one: http://ezinearticles.com/?Unmarried-Coup..., so maybe you need another cup of coffee. And why the expletives and semi threats about backing off and having a "DAMNED" cup of coffee. I didn't use any curse words in any of my posts nor did I say to you to "back off." And while we're at it, how about YOU cite a proven source that states verbatim that a natural mother who's not married ISN'T considered a primary custodian. I WAS ONE SO I SPEAK FROM FACT. This post is to help Heather. If she chooses to RESEARCH on her own, she will find all the facts she needs. And as far as other options, like legal aid and attorneys that work for low rates, you OBVIOUSLY have not been in any court proceedings or AS MANY because ANY ONE who actually HAS, would know that legal aid only gives you GENERIC information IF you meet certain financial critiera and cannot provide assistance for COMPLEX cases and attorneys who work for LOW RATES 9 times out of 10 give you SORRY representation...and SLIDING RATES don't exist. You pay a retainer (Lowest is around $1,500 for any attorney worth the ESQ. behind his name) But what if you can't afford the retainer? Attorneys don't do piece meal work. I WORK FOR THEM SO I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE. So you have a nice day and know that I will keep posting what I KNOW whether you like it or not Sunshine.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2014

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Deborah, legal secretary or not, your advice is not practical. You cannot tell everyone that your posts are fact, because they are not. It is NOT ASSUMED THAT MOM HAS PRIMARY CUSTODY. That's why she's being told that this is not an abduction, but a civil matter.

AND, sweetie, I realize that not all can afford an attorney. HOWEVER, THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS, LEGAL AID, ETC, AS WELL AS ATTORNEYS THAT WORK FOR VERY LOW RATES/SLIDING RATES.

How can you, as a 'legal secretary' bitch about me telling people to go about things by the legal routes?

Back off, sunshine, either that, or have another damned cup of coffee, and get off your premenstrual cycle. Oh, and cite your proven sources.

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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Heather, you are getting information stating one thing and information stating another. Shawnn is difinately wrong. And Shawnn should also take into account that EVERYBODY cannot afford attorneys which is probably 80% of this board because if they did they wouldn't be on this board for more than just an ear. I am a legal secretary and a pro se person who has WON in appellate courts (though I have also lost) and know the system WELL. It is STILL presumed that a natural mother who was not wed has primary custody. But that custody CAN be changed if the father's name is on that birth certificate and if he decides to plead. Please see http://communitylegalaid.org/library/fam... If you need help Heather and can't afford an attorney, please email me at debbiefaye2004@yahoo.com. There is more than one way to skin a cat as my Nana used to say!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2014

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Well, Deborah is slightly mistaken. NOTHING is automatically "assumed" any more. The one thing I do agree on is that it's always better to take the legal route from the very beginning, to avoid this sort of action.

Since there were no original court orders, this is not an abduction, it is a matter of the biological male parent desiring to have and spend time with his biological child. No different than the biological female parent trying to keep the child from their other parent, really.

Now, since it is a civil matter, have you gotten an attorney and started proceedings to determine custody, support, and visitation?

Deborah - posted on 02/18/2014

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Hi Heather, do you have an update? I'm new to the site but have a lot of experience with this type of situation. Was your son living with you for most of his life? If you were unmarried, the mother is assumed custody automatically UNLESS the father could prove you were unfit. It IS abduction if you were raising the child and were the primary caregiver. But without an ORDER outlining that the father DOESN'T have custody, he can take the child. You SHOULD go file if you haven't already done so, and only THEN will you have the protection of the law. I have been through this and though the law does not always protect its citizens, most times it does and it's a formality that needs to be done for you to be taken seriously at all.

User - posted on 08/13/2013

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I am so sry that people arnt trying to help you, have you contacted the news? they should with out a doubt broadcast this. Keep doing whatever you can to find him, make a group if you havent already and let the community know to start watching out.

I hope you know God, but just pray and pray. I will keep you and your son in my prayers that he will return saftely

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