If your ex-partner refused to return your children following their holiday visit, you need to act fast. If you have legal court orders that have awarded custody of the children to you, there are steps you can take to force your ex-partner to comply. If possible, the first thing you need to do is make contact with your ex-partner. You may be able to get them to return your children without involving the courts. If that's not possible, you'll need to follow the steps provided below.
Seek Legal Assistance
If your ex-partner has failed to return your children after their scheduled visit, and your attempts for an amicable return have failed, it's time to seek legal assistance. Your family law attorney can help you navigate the steps you need to take to get your children back.
Unfortunately, this might require you to go back to court, which can be a daunting task, especially if you try to go it alone. Once you hire a family law attorney, they'll handle all of the paperwork, and legal documentation. They'll also accompany you to your court hearings.
Gather Your Documents
If your attempts to get your children back have failed, and your attorney has secured a court date for you, now's the time to gather your important documents. This includes your official custody orders, visitation orders, and any paperwork you've received from your ex-partner. If you've attempted to serve papers on your ex, you'll need proof of that as well. Ensuring proper documentation will help to prevent delays in your case.
Provide All of the Details
If you need to go to court to secure the return of your children, be prepared with all of the details. The judge will want to know as much about the circumstances as possible. This should include details about the visitation agreement for the holidays, as well as any communication that you had with your ex-partner prior to the holiday visit. If your ex-partner provided you with details regarding their travel arrangements, you'll want to include those when you speak to the judge.
Be Ready for Questions
Finally, if you're preparing for your court date, you want to be prepared for questions. The judge will want to hear the details regarding the custody issue that you're facing. However, they'll also want to ask you questions about the situation. The clearer you can be with your answers, the better your case will be. If you're not sure about any of the answers, your family law attorney will be there to help you.