Can I just keep my kids?

If the court has never addressed the issue of custody, then you can file a lawsuit for custody and the court will make a determination based on the best interest of your child. If you have moved and made every effort to be a part of your child’s life, you can expect that the court will do whatever they believe is in your child’s interest to preserve this relationship.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.

My (then) wife suddenly took off with my kids one day without warning. She just kept them. For months I had no access to them and didn’t have money for an attorney for advice. We settled into the routine of her having the kids instead of me. Eventually I was able to get some visitation worked out and documented with her in a non-court ordered custody agreement.

She is threatening to take my kids far away again shortly after I move to be close to them. Since our custody document was merely something we wrote up and had notorized together I wonder how legally binding it is. Specifically, I’m wondering if she tries to run off with them again, can I just not return them to her after one of my weekend visits to prevent her from moving them away from me again?