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I have a 7 week old child, and I let her visit with her father. now he is saying that he won't give her back. What do I do?

Latrobe, PA |

We are in the middle of a custody battle. Also he signed a paper, that I wrote up, saying that he would have her back by a certain date and time.

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Attorney answers 3


I am not certain what you mean by "in the middle of a custody battle". To most attorneys, that would mean that you have pleadings filed with the court and matters are pending. If this is the case, you would simply need to follow your county's (apparently Westmoreland if you live in Latrobe) procedure for filing an emergency petition for special relief and/or a motion for contempt (of an existing custody order, if this is applicable). If by "in the middle of a custody battle" you mean that you and the father are arguing over custody, you will need to file a complaint for custody first (to bring the matter before the court) and then follow the procedure outlined above. The above procedures are a very general description of the procedure that may apply to your matter; however, time is always of the essence in custody matters. You will certainly need the advice of an experienced attorney promptly who can consider all relevant facts and advise you as to the specific course that would best fit your situation. Please feel free to contact our offices if you would like to discuss your matter further.

The Answer to this Question by poster is intended to be used as general information only, is not to be considered legal advice and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon such Legal Information. You should speak to an attorney for more specific counsel after consideration of all pertinent information. Attorney Liotta maintains a license to practice law in PA only. If you wish to discuss your question in greater detail, please feel free to contact Attorney Liotta by way of the contact information included on his profile. If you found this post to be helpful, please show your appreciation by upvoting it.


Please note that the only valid Court Order relating to custody is one that is signed by the Court. If the two of you are not operating under a Court Order, then you may want to consider something called a 'Petition for Special Relief'. However, it's difficult to tell at what stage you are at in the custody process, given the limited amount of facts in your post. In your situation, I would highly encourage you to consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse your situation may become.


If the paper you "wrote up" isn't signed by a judge, it's not enforceable. You need to start a custody complaint in your county if you haven't done so already. If there's one in place, you need to motion the court to order dad to return the child to your custody immediately.