What if My Former Spouse Takes Our Child Out of State Violating Court Order?

If your former spouse takes your child out of the state of Tennessee or withholds the child in violation of a custody agreement, you will need to take action right away. Read on to learn more and reach out to our skilled Memphis, Tennessee child custody lawyer today.

What should I do if my ex takes my child out of Tennessee violating child custody?

Parental kidnapping is a problem that has arisen more frequently recently. Because of this publicity, legislation has been enacted in every state and by the federal government trying to prevent this unfortunate situation. Keep in mind that even if you are unhappy with a court ruling on parenting or visitation, you should never take the law into your own hands by taking or keeping your child in violation of a court ruling. You will get caught. When you are caught, the judge in your divorce case will not be happy, and neither will the judge in your criminal trial.

Many parents who kidnap their children lose their parenting rights for a certain amount of time. Some go to jail, which also hinders visitation. The kidnapping parent can be limited to supervised visitation, which essentially means the children can only visit that parent while under the care of an agency or other person that the court trusts. Additionally, the visiting parent is usually instructed to pay a fee to the supervisor who keeps an eye on that parent. This is not something that will be good for you or your child.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm today if your children have been taken out of state or held by your former spouse in violation of a court order. There are several steps you should take in this situation. You will want to act fast as it is easiest to track down your child and former spouse the closer to its occurrence.

What are the basics of child custody in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the mother usually has an advantage in child custody litigations. Although the courts are supposed to prefer joint custody, each judge will have a personal preference.

Joint custody will usually be supported by the court if the parties do so by agreement and there is a “primary custodian.” The primary custodian is the one the child mainly lives with and has final decisions on issues such as school, medical care, and other issues. By concurrence, one parent can be accountable for some areas and the other parent can be responsible for other areas. Joint custody is more infrequently granted in contested matters.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Memphis or anywhere in Tennessee, contact Rice Law to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.