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My wife left me and took my son without any notice. I think she took him out of state, what are my options to get him back?

San Francisco, CA |

It appears this is something she'd been planning for 3 weeks. I contacted the police because I could not reach her and because they initially could not reach her they were going to approach it as child concealment/abduction. She eventually did contact the police and told them she had a restraining order on me (?) and her attorney told her to leave at the first chance she got. - I have NEVER hit/hurt her, threatened her or anything. I know she said it so she could take my son away from me, she waited 3 weeks to leave since first contacting the attorney, and had a party before going - doesn't seem like she was scared or jumping to go.

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Attorney answers 2


She can't take your son to an undisclosed location in another state w/o committing abduction. The usual procedure is to get an order permitting this from the family court first. If you were an abuser that would weigh heavily in the balance against you. If you want to do something about it you'll have to go back to the family court that allowed her to move away.

Disclaimer: this site is for general educational purposes. My answering your question is based on my knowledge of the common law. Do not assume I know your state’s law or that I am correct. My participation in this forum is not intended to create an attorney client relationship.


California law strongly favors frequent and continuing contact between both parents and their children. A parent that interferes with the other parent's relationship with the children, risks losing custody or having custody granted to the other parent. Child abduction is taken seriously, and absent some immediate danger to the children, can bring serious consequences. You should consult with a local attorney as soon as possible and file an ex parte application to get the children back or at least obtain a visitation schedule. Feel free to give me a call for a free initial consultation. 415-835-6777.

Disclaimer: You should discuss your situation with a local attorney, as the above statement is a general overview and does not take into account all of the factual considerations in your case. Nothing in this statement creates an attorney-client relationship.

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