He's threatening to take our son and leave if I divorce him
A common issue that a mother who wants a divorce faces is that the father threatens to take the child. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do if you are in this situation. One of the ways that you can try to stop him from taking the child would be to speak with an attorney who specializes in family law. If there is any indication or concern that the father will take the child to another state or even another country, then the attorney can often speak to a judge to get an Order of the Court that would prevent him from leaving. As soon as you file for divorce, you need to include a custody arrangement or file for sole custody if the father is not fit to have the children on a full-time basis. The Order of the Court will often require that the father submit his passport to the court to prevent him from leaving the country.
There are a few other elements to consider if your husband threatens to take the child if you state that you want to file for a divorce. Since you are not separated or divorced at the time, then there likely isn’t a legal custody agreement in place. This means that both of you have custody of the child and have rights to be with the child until an order is filed with the court. Sometimes, a parent might make threats to take your child during an argument. If this is the situation, then the father might not have meant the statements made and only said that he would take the child out of anger. If you think that he means his threat of taking the child, then think about the reasons behind the threat. Is there anything that you have done in the relationship that would make him want to take your child away? Are there any mental issues that he has that would put your child in danger? If there are any issues that the father has that could put your child’s life or health at risk, then these need to be addressed when you speak to the attorney. If your child is an infant or relies mostly on you for comfort, feeding, and physical care, then an attorney can often submit an order to the court asking that your child remains with you if you decide to leave your husband.
Since both of you have equal custody rights until a judge makes a different decision, one parent doesn’t have full control over a child. Try to talk to your spouse about the issues that are involved in the relationship that makes you want to file for a divorce. For many people, they simply want to communicate and know that they will be able to see their children if a divorce is filed. Reassure your spouse that you will let him see your child even if you do file for a divorce but that there should be a legal agreement put in place to protect both of you in the event something does happen in the future.
Learn about the divorce laws in your state to determine if there are any time requirements for finalizing a divorce. Most states want you to remain separated for at least a year before the divorce is finalized. You should also find out if you can file for custody during the separation or if you have to wait until the divorce is final. You should also find out about the grounds that are needed for a divorce in your state as well as what documents are needed to file. Try to find out why the father feels entitled to have your child and why he thinks that you shouldn’t have custody. The separation will likely be difficult for your child without the arguments and the strain of two parents fighting over custody. Unless you and your husband have completely equal amounts of time to dedicate to raising your child, then your child will need to spend more time with one parent than the other. If you feel that you are better suited to raise your child, then this is information that needs to be presented to your attorney. Make notes of missed calls or visits if you are already separated. You should also make notes about any odd behaviors that your husband has shown in the past that would make you fear for the safety of your child in his care.