Non Custodial Parent's Refusal to Return Child

This Result is in fact the result of numerous cases with the same fact pattern, the most recent being from 2012.  These cases happen more often than we may think. When a child is born outside of wedlock in Georgia, the father has no enforceable rights to custody or visitation with the child unless and until he established Legitimacy by court order.  However, there is nothing to stop an unmarried mother from allowing the unmarried father to spend time with the child.  No mother would knowingly allow the child to go with another person if they believed that person would refuse to return the child.  But for many different reasons a mother may allow her child to go and live with the father of the child on a temporary basis.  I have had these cases when the mother had to go to work out of town for a period of weeks, or when she needed to care for a sick friend or relative out od state, and once when the mother was in the hospital.  In any event, these mothers signed a piece of paper giving the father temporary custody so the father could deal with the schools and/or medical providers on behalf of the children, for a temporary period of time.

Then when the mother comes back the father refuses to turn the child over to the mother.  Typically the police are called and more often than not, because of the poorly written temporary custody paper signed by the mother the police do not intervene.

This is a case that I have never lost.  We file an emergency Petition to Return the Child to the Custodial Parent, get the father served with a copy of the Petition and a Notice of Hearing, with direction to bring the child to the courthouse on that date. Every time I have filed this case the Court has immediately ordered the child returned to the mother and just about every time, the wrath of the judge visited upon the father is intense.