My ex-spouse took my child to another state: What should I do?

When a legal issue arises in your family, the best way you can protect yourself and the ones you love is by consulting a family law attorney who understands how to help you.

In most Colorado child custody orders, an ex-spouse or the other parent of the child will not have the right to take the child over state lines without express permission from the other parent. This especially relates to a parent's desire to physically relocate to another state with his or her child without the permission of the other parent.

In most cases, courts will view the act of relocating with a child without the other parent's permission to be an act of child abduction. If your ex-spouse has taken your child to another state, you may have the legal right to get your child back.

The criminal justice system is available to help

As soon as you discover that the other parent of your child has absconded with him or her to another state, you should contact local authorities. Tell your local police department what happened. Police will then open a case and work with local, state and federal authorities -- even the FBI if necessary -- to locate your child. In most cases, police will do their job and locate your child quickly with the information you provide. In some situation, though, it can help to hire a private investigator, but this may be unaffordable for many parents.

When authorities find your child, they will arrange to have him or her brought back home to you. As punishment for violating a custody order, the other parent could face jail time, fines, loss of visitation rights and loss of child custody.

Apply to modify your child custody arrangements

After getting your child returned, your next task will be to take legal action that prevents such an abduction from happening again. Since the other parent violated a court order by taking your child away, you might be able to request that his or her custody rights be eliminated permanently or temporarily.

No parent should ever be denied access to his or her child unlawfully. If this has happened to you because a parent took your child away in violation of your child custody orders, the law is on your side and you can fight to get your child back.

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