Joint custody and visiting guidelines

  1. If she agreed not to take them outside the continental US then you might be able to do something, but I think that it would also depend on why she was taking them to Puerto Rico, whether it is just a vacation or if she is trying to keep the kids from you.

  2. Going in the house to pick up your kids does not constitute cohabitation. You would have to intend to reconcile and move back in or spend many nights over at the house with her. Basically cohabitation would be doing the things a married couple typically does.

Clarification for question number 1: I meant MOVING to Puerto Rico.

Is your custody agreement by court order or is it only in the separation agreement? If it is in your separation agreement has the agreement been notorized? If it is by court order then you can go to court for custody. If by notorized separation agreement you can try to get custody, but it is not as definate as a court order. If just a separation agreement between the two of you then you might have a hard time enforcing it.

A lawyer prepared the separation agreement after advising us of our legal rights and the separation agreement (very comprehensive) was notarized. I will give the children alimony but she waived her spousal support and any alimony to her. Everything else was split 50/50.

The lawyer said that we have to be separated for one year and after that either one can file for divorce and have the agreement attached to the divorce order. My wife is leaving me for an old “acquaintance” in puertorico (I found out they have been calling each other for many months-I don’t know him). She says that she is tired of me and said this is the reason but I heard them on the phone myself, she wants to live “la vida loca” and I am not a part of this plan. I checked the computer browser history and see all kinds of evidence pointing to her planning a move to puerto rico.

Like I said, I will be leaving the house during the next few days and it will be harder for me to keep track of her after that. My real question is with whether she can take the children to puertorico even though the agreement says she should not remove the children from the continental USA.

Any advise would be appreciated

I will tell you this if you allow her to leave with the children your nuts she cannot take them out unless you allow it. This is kid napping and she would be locked up for that. Ask your attorney about a bond put on the children so she can not leave the area at all get the proof you need you will need it. What about the children? do they want to live there? Better get all your ducks in a row and get moving does not sound you have alot of time.
Good luck to you

If you know for sure she is planning to move you need to take immediate action like get a restraining order that will not allow her to relocate based on the seperation agreement, until a court order is in place. (You need a lawyer)

Sounds like you have an unincorporated separation agreement, pascual. With regards to custody of your children, this agreement is worthless. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that’s the reality of the situation. This agreement cannot be enforced in and of itself. Nor is a court bound by the custody-related terms of this agreement. (Different rules apply to alimony and property settlement/division.) Any order the court might issue may or may not contain (or otherwise implement) the custody-related terms of your separation agreement.

If you are certain your wife (from whom you are presently separated) plans to relocate your children to Puerto Rico and you want to keep them here, you must go to court and try to convince a judge to take appropriate action. Judges do whatever they want with child custody, so there are no guarantees. But at least you will have tried.

Dear pascual:

Greetings. 1. Possibly, but it would be a breach of the Separation Agreement definitely.

  1. No. Avoid moving back in and living there. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
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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 but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Hope I can get help with a few questions. BACKGROUND: We have a separation agreement and I will move from the house to live by myself during the next few days (the agreement was signed a few days ago).

  1. I have joint custody of the children (she has physical custody). The agreement states that she is not to take the children outside the continental USA. If she takes them to Puerto Rico, would that be grounds to terminate joint custody and gain physical custody of the children?

  2. Now that we are supposed to live apart for one year, if I go inside the house when picking up the kids (on weekends), can that be misunderstood as co-habitation? If the inside of the house is not off limits, what are things to avoid?

Thanks in advance