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A mother has sole physical custody and father and he refuses to return children by court order, what can you do?

Lansing, MI |

The father was supposed to return kids Sunday at 6:00pm and refused and is keeping them. He has joint legal custody and is supposed to get them 2 1/2 hours on wednesday and every other weekend from 6:00pm Friday until 6:00pm Sunday. They were supposed to be returned yesterday at 6:00pm but refuses to bring them to the mother who has sole physcial custody.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You need to file a motion to show cause the father for failure to comply with the court order, ask for make-up parenting time for any missed as a result of his conduct, as well as for attorney fees, if you - as you should - use an attorney. Good luck to you.

    This comment is designed for general information only, and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


  2. You should consult a family law attorney in the Lansing area to discuss the possibility of filing a complaint for parental kidnapping. What follows is the link to the criminal statute relating to the retention by a natural or adoptive parent of a child subject to a court order. As you will see, this may be classified as a felony if the facts fit the law:

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(wjpp5pq2gxq2acmh5kd1hw3u))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-750-350a&query=on&highlight=kidnapping

    Neil M. Colman

    Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.


  3. File a Motion to hold him in contempt. Ask the Judge to award you your attorney fees.


  4. I agree that you should both consult an attorney in your area to hold him in contempt. In this you would need to show cause of how he was in contempt. Another important consideration is how often he has done this in the past. If it is a pattern of him doing this you may want to seek to modify the current visitation or have it more defined by the court. Whichever way you choose to go the other parent is in contempt for not following the court order. You also may want to go down to the court where the order is from and they should be able to either walk you through the process or give you the pro se forms to get this matter before the court.


  5. A motion to enforce the Order or Order to Show Cause is the correct way to proceed.

    Daniel Findling

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