threatened mom with kidnappping..


            Posted on Mar 1,2015

            Dad threatens mom with kidnapping complaint.

Q. My husband and I have not been getting along and I am contemplating divorce. He travels a lot for work. For school vacation week, I took our two kids to Rhode Island to visit my sister and her kids. He was away half the week. On Thursday night he called to say he got home and did not know where we were. I left him a note on the counter of where we were and when we would return (Sunday afternoon so they can return to school Monday morning). He said that was not good enough. He demanded that I return at once. He then told me he hired a lawyer who said I had kidnapped our children and he was going to involve the police. He went on to say he is entitled to equal time with our children especially during their school breaks. I hung up on him.

I am still going to return as planned on Sunday afternoon but want to know what to expect. Can he really bring me up on kidnapping charges for taking our kids to Rhode Island during school vacation when he was away anyway?

C.B. Swansea

A. Here's the skinny: If he goes to the police to file kidnapping charges, the police will probably contact you. When you tell them your side of the story, they'll figure out your husband's a jerk and tell him they're not filing a criminal complaint.

Let's assume three facts. Your children's habitual residence is Massachusetts. They've lived there for more than six months. Without the dad's written or express permission, you moved the children to another state or country. In that situation, he could seek kidnapping charges. Or he could file a case in the place where the children are, seeking a court order that they be returned to Massachusetts.

In any event, you may face a long, bumpy custody fight. So, if you are not already doing so, start keeping a journal showing when he travels for business or to go to his activities, when he leaves the house and comes home, the time you each spend with and activities you each do with your kids. List who takes the children to school, doctor appointments, helps them with homework, and so on and so forth. You will need easy access to this information on short notice.

Usually the parent who has spent more time with the children than the other parent will end up with custody. If he now starts to demand to be more involved, file for divorce and a motion for temporary custody of the children. Of course he'll get parenting time. The point is, all things being equal, its best to do the right thing now, than wait for your husband to do something bad for you and the children.