Erika's Question: My ex and I are splitting up and he has threatened to take our son and flee if I leave him. How I do to prevent this. I would like to share custody with my ex, but not if he is going to kidnap our son.

Brette Answers: You need to get an emergency temporary order of custody. If he has threatened to kidnap your child, you need to let the court know this is a concern. If your son has a passport, you need to get it and move it someplace your ex cannot access, such as a safe deposit box (find out more about protecting your child's passport after divorce). Instruct your child's school or day care providers not to release him to anyone but you. You need to talk to a lawyer ASAP.

※ Can he keep the children away from me until after the divorce?
Question: After 18 years of marriage, I'm no longer in love with my husband. We've tried counseling and its not helping our marriage. We have three children (15, 12, and 9). I've told him that I want out but he says that he is going to keep the children and that I can only see them. I've told him that I want 50/50 custody but he won't discuss it when it comes up. Can he keep the children from me before the divorce process has been finalized?

Brette's Answer: If there is no court order, you and your spouse have equal rights to your children and he cannot keep them from you. If you are concerned, go to family court and get an order of custody and visitation before your divorce which will determine the issue of custody.
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