Spouse and children at risk

If a parent wants to leave her abusive spouse, can she take her chjildren with her if she thinks the children are in danger?


Asked about 8 years ago in New York
Categories: Family

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Ellen S. Ross

Answer by Ellen S. Ross

VerifiedNew York lawyer


If at all possible, it is best to get a temporary custody order first; however, if there is an extreme emergency and the mother must flee with the children, especially if she goes to a domestic violence shelter, assistance can generally be provided through the local domestic violence program in getting to Family Court to request an immediate temporary order.  In New York State, a parent in a domestic violence situation can file a family offense petition in Family Court and can request an immediate temporary order of custody as part of an order of protection.  While Family Court judges vary in their willingness to give temporary custody orders, this is an appropriate remedy in cases involving genuine abuse. If the mother is leaving with the children because she is in fear for her safety and that of the children, a petition should be filed with the court at the earliest available opportunity.

Posted about 8 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Ellen S. Ross, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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