Q: My husband who no longer lives with us took our son to spend time with him but won’t return him, how do I get him back? We live in Pennsylvania. My husband moved out in the first week of December last year. He is emotionally and physically abusive. I have had the chance to leave him several times but became one of those victims that always goes back. Well I am happy to say I am no longer going back. Yesterday, my husband showed up wanting to see our son so I let him. Now he won’t give him back. There is no custody order and no divorce papers, yet. How do I get back my son?
A: You have to file for custody in court. Without a custody court order which spell out which parent has physical custody, which parent has visitation, etc., unfortunately, either parent can keep the child from the other parent, as harmful as that may be to the child. I would advise getting a lawyer. The lawyer can start the custody process. This would be by going to motions court and getting an emergency temporary custody order then simultaneously filing for custody mediation, which is mandatory in Allegheny County.