Dannenbaum Law Firm, PLLC

You come home and your spouse and kids have moved out. What do you do?

Your worst nightmare is about the happen and you have no clue.

In the morning you leave home for work and kiss your spouse and kids. You come home to an empty house. No spouse. No kids. Maybe no furniture. This stuff really happens. What do you do?

Try to stay calm and come up with a wholistic strategy near and longer term. Immediately contact your spouse by phone, text, and email to find out where he or she is located and staying, where the children are, who else is with the kids, the state of the kids' physical and mental health. Your spouse may simply fail to respond to your phone calls, text messages and emails. Use all three means of communication to try to reach him or her. Keep trying to contact him or her until you make contact.

You need to know where your kids are and who they are staying with. If you are concerned about your children's safety, health, and welfare, you may need to contact the police or child protective services. You must hire a lawyer immediately. Your lawyer may file a motion with the court to have the children returned to you. You will need to find out where your spouse is located so that he or she can be served with court papers. Try to find out the name of your spouse's lawyer so the lawyers can try to talk through the issues.

There will be issues relating to custody and support that need to be addressed immediately. You need to try to resolve issues relating to custody of the children and determine a custody schedule. You need to decide issues relating to support and payment of expenses. You should consider mediation to try to resolve these issues. At the same time, you may want to consider your judicial options, like filing motions for support and custody. You should try to get an expedited hearing if you are being denied visitation. It is harmful for kids to be taken away from a parent. Sometimes it is hard to get an immediate court hearing because the courts. In that event, hire a mediator, preferably a mediator who was a former judge, who can work with you and your spouse and your attorneys to resolve these matters. Hire a co-parent counselor or child psychologists to iron out custody issues. Keep texting and emailing the spouse who left to demand time with the kids and the find out the status of their physical and mental health. Make sure to attend all doctor, dentist, psychological appointments for the kids. Stay in close contact with the kids' school counselors and teachers and day care providers. Keep a detailed daily diary of all matters.

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