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What to do when your former spouse takes your child

| Jan 19, 2021 | Family Law & Divorce

In the most nightmarish of scenarios, child custody arrangements go off the rails when one parent refuses to return a child at the end of their designated visitation time. In these cases, the other parent wonders what to do while also fearing for the child’s health and safety. It seems obvious that a parent who deliberately disobeys court-mandated visitation rules could be untrustworthy in other ways as well. If your ex refuses to return your child in Minnesota, there are a few steps you can consider.

Try to deescalate the situation

The first approach is usually trying to reason with the other parent. However, if your ex has already violated the child custody agreement, this probably won’t work. It depends on how irrational your ex is and whether you even know how to contact them. If you do try to negotiate with your ex, it is advisable that you do so through text or e-mail so there is a written record of the communication surrounding their refusal to return your child. It is vital that you don’t let your emotions get in the way because you need to be a calming presence in this volatile situation.

Get the authorities involved

If your ex decides to break the child custody agreement from your original divorce decree, you have options regarding taking them back to court. The police can execute a court order to enforce the custody arrangement. This is the best option if you can’t work out a solution on your own. In these circumstances, it would be to your advantage to retain a family law attorney who is familiar with these matters.

Don’t lose hope. Even if your ex has taken your child out of state, there are legal remedies you can use. However, most of your strategies will involve retaining an attorney.