If your order requires that you give your ex-husband your new address and you refuse to do so, you are placing yourself at risk of being held in contempt of court. If your ex-husband has court ordered custody/visitation and you refuse to allow him to exercise it, you are placing yourself at risk of being held in contempt of court. If you are held in contempt, you can face any number of consequences including potentially losing primary custody.
If you have reason to fear for your child's safety while in the father's custody, or if the father has violated any terms of the custody order, the answer is NOT to withhold custody and information. The answer is to seek the assistance of the court by filing an action for contempt and/or for a modification of the order (either change of custody or change of visitation).
You should sit down with an attorney to discuss your options and the potential ramifications of each.
I hope this information helps answer your question(s).
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
Until there is a court order regarding custody, you and your husband have the same rights to your son. If you want to keep him from taking your son, you need to file for divorce (or custody and suppot), and you need to obtain an order giving you custody and spelling out what rights he does/doesn't have. Do not attempt this without an experienced family law attorney.
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
I agree with my colleagues. Your question is not clear as to whether there is a court order and if so, what it states. I would definitely suggest that you contact a family law attorney to go over your possible options. Let me know if I can be of any assistance. Good luck!
(1) Most child custody order include language that requires each parent to update the other when they move (certainly all of mine do), and even if the order does not say it, I would advise my client that they better update the other of their new address.
(2) If there is a child custody order already in place (like from a prior divorce decree or a legitimation order) granting him visitation, then YOU MUST allow him to see your child as scheduled. If you really fear that his conduct is "reckless" you should consult with a family law attorney about specific acts of reckless conduct. A good attorney can advise you whether the judge will find his conduct equally reckless.
(3) If you refuse to allow the father to see your child as the order requires, you run the risk of being held in contempt of court, which the court may very likely find. Now, this will only happen if he brings the case for contempt before the judge. If the judge fins you are in contempt, the law in Georgia allows the judge to sanction (fine) you, order you to repay his attorney fees, modify the visitation schedule, place you in jail and even reverse primary custody in his favor. Now, some of these are extreme remedies reserved for the worst cases, but you need to understand how serious it could be.
(4) Now, if he takes your child away and refuses to tell you where or refuses to allow you to speak to your child when away with him, he can also face some serious problems if you bring these issues to the attention of the judge; however, this does not give you the "tit for tat" right to do equally irritating things to him. I always advise people to take the high road.
(5) If you save emails and texts to show his wild mood swings, this can be, as I am fond of saying, "solid gol evidence" in the event he later tries to take primary custody or even expand his visitation. I advise you to start saving these in a file. BUT REMEMBER, he can be saving yours as well, so be careful.