It’s a matter of child kidnapping if non custodial parent won’t return child to you as agreed. This can be a very difficult and frustrating situation to be in. To get your child back, you must be calm and cool as a custodial parent.
However, there are things that you can do to try and resolve the situation. This post will discuss the seven best strategies for dealing with a non-custodial parent who will not return your child.
7 Things You Can Do If Non Custodial Parent Won’t Return Child
#1. Talk to the co-parent:
The first thing a custodial parent can do is try to talk to the other parent and see if there is a reason why they are not returning the child. There could be a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved.
Before taking any bold step, it is always best to communicate with the other parent and see if there is a way to resolve the issue amicably.
If you cannot talk to the other parent or are unwilling to listen, you should consider taking some of the following steps.
#2. Try to talk to the child:
If the child is mature enough, you can try to talk to them and see if they know why the other parent is not returning them. Or there might be a possibility that the child wants to stay with the other parent.
You should not put the child in the middle of the situation. They should not feel like they have to choose between their parents. If the child is too young to understand what is happening, you should not try to talk to them about it.
Some children may feel guilty that they are the reason why the other parent is not returning. This is something you should avoid at all costs. If the child does know what is going on, you can try to explain the situation to them and reassure them that it is not their fault.
You should also let them know you are doing everything possible to get them back home safely. In some cases, the child may be able to provide information to help you resolve the situation.
For example, they may know where the other parent is staying or have their phone number. I know a case where a child of 15-year-old refuses to return to the custodial parent, and the child helped the other parent to find the location.
If possible, sometimes the child runs away from the noncustodial parent. In this case, keep communicating with the child to pick him/her up from the proper location.
If the child is reluctant to talk to you about the situation, you should not force them. They may need some time to process what is going on.
#3. Track down the last known address:
The custodial parent can also track down the non-custodial parent using their last known address, phone number, or place of employment. Once they have been located, the custodial parent can contact them directly or go through their attorney if they have one.
In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a private investigator to find the whereabouts of the non-custodial parent. This is usually a last resort but can be effective in locating the individual.
The custodial parent may also want to reach out to family and friends of the non-custodial parent to locate them. These individuals may know where they are or how to contact them.
#4. Analyse the frequency of the lateness:
Sometimes, non-custodial parent late returning child in time because of various life factors, including accidents, traffic, or work. If this is the case, you should not take any legal action right away.
If the other parent is late in returning the child more than once or twice, you can start to take some steps. This will help you to determine if there is a pattern of behavior that is emerging.
You should also track how long the child is with the other parent. This could signify a problem if they regularly go longer than the agreed-upon time. If you are concerned about your child’s safety, you should take steps to protect them.
#5. Talk to a lawyer:
If you cannot resolve the situation independently, you should consider talking to a lawyer. They can provide you with advice on what steps you can take.
A lawyer can also help you file a restraining order if the other parent behaves in a way that puts your child in danger. Or, if you need to move to court for custody order modification, a lawyer will help you.
#6. Contact police or other authorities:
“Can I call the police if my ex won’t let me see my child?”
If talking does not work, the next step is to involve authorities such as the police or child protective services. They can help mediate the situation and ensure that the child is returned to the custodial parent.
Do not hesitate to contact law enforcement if you believe your child is in danger. They will be able to investigate the situation and take appropriate measures to ensure your child’s safety.
Sometimes police may be unable to do anything if the other parent has legal custody of the child. In this case, you should consider contacting your lawyer to see what other options are available to you.
Child protective services can also investigate the situation and take steps to ensure that the child is safe. If you are concerned about your child’s safety, you should take steps to protect them.
#7. Go to court:
This is the last resort. If you have tried everything else and nothing has worked, you may need to go to court. This is a complicated and time-consuming process, but it may be the only way to get your child back.
If you were awarded custody of your child, the other parent must comply with the court order. If they do not, they can be held in contempt of court and may face penalties such as jail time.
You may file a contempt of court order against the non-custodial parent. This document orders them to appear in court to explain why they have not returned the child. If they do not comply, they may be held in contempt of court, which can result in fines or jail time.
If all else fails, it may be necessary to take legal action against the non-custodial parent, including filing for sole custody or changing visitation rights.
In some states, it is possible to file an interference with custody charge if the non-custodial parent refuses to return your child after a visit. This is a serious offence and should only be done as a last resort.
Know more about what happens if the non-custodial parent refuses to return the child to the parent with custodial rights by watching the below video:
FAQs on Non Custodial Parent Won’t Return Child
Can a parent stop a child from seeing the other parent?
No, one parent can’t withhold a child from other parents unless there is a court order in place that states otherwise. If the custodial parent tries to stop the child from seeing the other parent, they could be held in contempt of court. Parents only can do that with a court order.
How to get custody back when your ex takes your child?
You must file a petition with the court to get custody back when your ex takes your child. In the petition, you will need to state why you believe you should have custody of the child. The court will then review the evidence and decide.
If the court finds that it is in the child’s best interest to be in your custody, they will grant you custody. However, if the court finds that it is not in the child’s best interest to be in your custody, they will deny your petition.
Do I have the right to know who my child is around?
Yes, as a parent, you have the right to know who your child is around. This includes the people they are spending time with and the places they are going.
If you are concerned about your child’s safety, you should contact their other parent and express your concerns. If the other parent is unwilling to cooperate, you may need to take legal action.
Can I stop my child from going to the other parent’s house?
No, you cannot stop your child from going to the other parent’s house unless a court order states otherwise. If you try to prevent your child from seeing the other parent, you could be held in contempt of court.
Can I get full custody if the other parent won’t let me see my child?
It is possible to get full custody if the other parent doesn’t let you see your child, but it is not guaranteed. You will need to file a petition with the court and state why you believe you should have full custody. The court will then review the evidence and decide.
What happens if non custodial parent refuses to return child?
If the non-custodial parent refuses to return your child after a visit, you may be able to file an interference with custody charge. You may file for an emergency court order to return the child. This is a serious offense and should only be done as a last resort.
Can a police officer enforce a child custody order?
Yes, a police officer can enforce a child custody order. If the non-custodial parent is not following the terms of the custody order, you can contact the police. The police will then investigate and take appropriate action.
But, in maximum states, the police usually don’t get involved in such cases as they consider it as a family matter.
Can a noncustodial parent refuse to return a child?
No, a non-custodial parent cannot refuse to return a child. The custodial parent has the legal right to make decisions about the child’s care and welfare, including where the child will live.
If the non-custodial parent refuses to return the child to the custodial parent, they may be subject to legal action, including contempt of court order.
In some cases, the non-custodial parent may also be required to pay damages or reimburse the custodial parent for expenses incurred due to their refusal to return the child.
It can be frustrating and stressful if the non-custodial parent does not return your child. I hope the above tips will be helpful to you to get back your child.