What to Do If a Parent Illegally Takes the Children?

Sometimes parents are faced with a crisis situation when the other parent of the children takes the children in violation of the court-ordered custody or possession schedule. This can happen inside the state or it can also cross state lines. When this occurs, the first thing a parent needs to do is to look at the custody order to see what rights are designated for both parents regarding the children, and, more importantly, what type of possession schedule is ordered.

If it is clear that one of the parents is being denied possession due to the unlawful keeping of the children by the other parent, then it may be necessary to file what is called a writ of attachment in the court located in the county where the children are being held. Whether this is in the same county that the prior order is based out of, or if it is across the country in an entirely different state, the writ of attachment will need to be filed in that location. Oftentimes, this will require hiring an out-of-county or out-of-state attorney and coordinating the filing and prosecution of the case from a distance.

A parent will surely need the custody order to present to the court to obtain a writ of attachment, along with any other evidence showing they are entitled to possession of the children. Once the writ is obtained from a judge, then it can be served on the parent or individual holding the children so that they may be returned to the proper parent.

The handling of a writ of attachment is very time-sensitive as the children, already being illegally possessed, risk being moved by another parent in an attempt by that parent to avoid being taken to court over their wrongful conduct. A writ of attachment takes careful planning and swift execution, but, when done right, the children can be delivered safely back to the parent who is entitled to their possession.

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