Custody and absent parent

My ex husband and I have no custody agreement. He left in Feb of 2019 and has made zero effort to see the kids. He has seen them when the kids and I have gone to his mom’s holiday events. He is under court ordered child support at the moment. Texts the kids every couple of weeks or months. Tells them happy birthday and merry christmas. He doesn’t live far so that isn’t an issue nor have I tried to keep them apart. My question is: is a court ordered custody agreement even necessary at this point? My kids who are still at home are 14 and 17.

No, a court order for custody is not necessary unless it is needed for child support purposes (but this is unlikely at this juncture assuming you have a permanent child support order in place).

With no court order in place, the father could take the children and refuse to return them to you, but with teenage children, this is unlikely to happen.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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