Legal Definition of custody without a court order

I am looking for a legal definition of the custody laws that are applied to parents that are seperated but have not been through mediation or have had custody set by the courts yet. Can you please help me.

Talk out what you guys want to do… with me I took mine and my ex husbands daughter completely outta his life because of the circumstances so it depends on what you want to do we’ve been split a year and there’s no custody what so ever how old is the child?

Absent a court order, it is my understanding that both parents have equal access to the child(ren).

You both have equal rights to the children until an agreement or court order sets out a schedule.

Thanks Erin.
I have another question, my ex is keeping my 2 yr old son away from me but I have been told my several people (including attorneys) that she cannot do this. I have also been told by an attorney that I can just go get my son. In January I made plans for this coming weekend and my ex has known the whole time, I talked to her last weekend and told her everything I have learned over the past several weeks and let her know that I know that she legally cannot keep my son from me and her response was “yeah, I know”, so I then told her that I would be coming to pick up my son on Friday and that she couldn’t stop me from taking him because we have equal rights to our child. She said we could talk through the week and see what happens, well we have talked everyday about my son and she has been quite nice. The closer it gets to Friday, however, she gets more and more rude. I’m afraid that when I go to pick up my son, she and her parents (she lives in their house) aren’t going to let me take him. My son and I haven’t been together for almost a month now. I plan on taking my child with me this weekend, but I want to go about it the right way. I know that technically I can just go take him, but I don’t want to cause that strain on my son so what can I do to make sure I get him this weekend without getting the sherrif’s dept called out?

The sheriff’s department will not get involved unless she is violating a court order. If he is in daycare, or an afterschool program, I would suggest you pick him up from there.

He stays with her parents while she is at work. Can I take him from there since they have no legal custody of him? I really just don’t know what to do at this point. If I go along with her craziness then will a judge see the current visitation as healthy for our son and then me never get to see him?
She has him scheduled to start preschool in september right down the road from her parent’s house so they can pick him up from school every day for her. I don’t want him around her parents like that because they aren’t teaching him good habits and their house is filthy (they have 5 dogs and a cat and her mom never cleans) and he doesn’t learn anything productive when he is with them. I just want to see my boy.

You can pick him up from her parent’s house. I would suggest that you file suit and make a claim for temporary custody so that you can have your case heard in the near future. A judge will set a schedule for your to have time with your son.

Thanks. I am filing for temporary custody today, I do have another question, though. After we go to court, is the temporary custody arrangement a court ordered arrangement? What I mean by this is, if my ex doesn’t adhere to it, what can I do? I’ve heard that after the permanent custody hearing I can go to the sherriff’s department with the court order of the visitation if she tries to say I can’t take him, is that the same with the temporary custody arrangement? I just don’t think she is going to adhere to anything unless she knows that she will be in trouble (with the law) if she doesn’t let me see him…
Thanks again.

If you are unable to reach an agreement the court will order a temporary schedule allowing for you to have time with your child. If your ex violates the court order, and refuses to allow you the time with your child the police will assist you in the custodial exchange and you can file motion to have her held in contempt of a court order.

So without a “legal court order” there is basically nothing you can do if Husband does not want to return the child… Even if you have a signed separation agreement saying the
Mother has Sole Custody of the children… I know the husband/wife roles are reversed in above but pertaining to me in particular I was asking this question

If there is a separation agreement stating that the other parent has sole custody, you may file a breach of contract action to have the children returned.