After Relinquishing Primary Custody She wants Child Back

In November of 2010 my ex and I made arrangements for my son to be with me on a primary basis. My ex voluntarily suspended child support in court. On that same day our child support case worker drafted another document detailing the new custody arrangement. It read among other things that my son would be with me 5 out of 7 days a week and that the custody was altered (consent order). It lists her as the plaintiff. We signed both documents, the judge signed them. Since then my son has lived with me. He is enrolled in daycare, has a pediatrician, friends, has adjusted nicely, etc etc.

The ex recently stated that she would be taking him back 5 days a week and has already enrolled him in a daycare. I explained to her that the arrangement she signed prevented her from doing so. Her reasoning was unsubstantiated behavioral problems. After sending the email, she reneged on taking any action and would like to pursue mediation. The next day she indicated she was consulting an attorney. She is unstable from my point of view. I would like to know…

  • if she does not give him back to me after this weekend, is there anything criminal in that behavior?
  • are there any relevant grounds for an emergency custody order on my end?
  • besides suing me for primary custody / going to court, what should I be wary of?
  • i am saving all correspondence with the ex, but is there any other advice you could give?


You may contact law enforcement to assist you in getting the child back and then file a motion for contempt against her in court to have the judge hold her in contempt for failing to file the current order.
Emergency custody is appropriate when no order is in place, your remedy is to contact law enforcement and they will enforce the current order.
Your ex does not seem to have grounds to modify custody, as there must be a substantial change in circumstances affecting the child’s best interests before custody can be changed.