Originally Posted by AtYourCervices
My ex husband has refused to give me the address where he's staying...and has basically said he intends on continuing to conceal the children from me (I have this all in writing). Isn't that the definition of kidnapping?
No, it's not the definition of kidnapping. The kids are with you. Technically, he has threatened to interfere with your right to contact them; and potentially threatened to block your parenting time, next time they're supposed to visit you. However, the fact that he did not stop them from visiting you RIGHT NOW would make you look unreasonable, if you refused to send them back, based on your fear of "kidnapping".
Without the lawyer (for now), file an EMERGENCY petition (this lets a judge issue a temporary ruling even if it's not possible to schedule a hearing with both parties beforehand) with the court where HE lives (you will also need to have him officially served with a copy of whatever you file with the court), asking that he "Show Cause" for refusing to let you know where your children will be living when they leave your home; and for threatening to deny contact with them. Attach a copy of whatever it is you have in writing from him, to that effect. At the same time that you file the Emergency Petition to Show Cause, file an Emergency Petition for the Children to Remain with Mother Pending the Outcome of CPS Investigation, Custody Evaluation and Modification Hearing; a Petition to Order Custodial Evaluation; and a Petition for Modification of Custody. Use whatever Court paperwork you already have, as a template for how to write up your petitions. Be brief. State only the major concerns, not all the details. You will get to hash those out at the custody hearing. Then do whatever the court orders, even if it's not what you want. Then, you can shop around for an attorney to follow through on these petitions. You won't have to pay him/her for writing and filing them, because you will have already done it.
...my current husband...he's insisting...we...eventually go back to court when we have the money in the bank to spend on lawyers fees.
A PP is right: If you are set on the course you want to take, here, you cannot wait until you've saved up enough money. There is never enough. You have to do what you think is right for your kids, anyway.
The police department won't do anything to help in a parental kidnapping case when both parents have custody.
No, they won't. They view this as a civil, not a criminal matter. In my state, that is the official police position EVEN THOUGH our state law says interference with parenting time by either the non-custodial OR custodial parent is criminal. Police are not an effective avenue for you.
I figure if I have the kids stay here, at least he can take me to court for parental kidnapping...
Bad idea. Then YOU start off the court proceedings on the defensive. If you're going to do this, you want to be the one initiating things based on your concern for your children's welfare and HIM to be the one having to defend his bad behavior, NOT the other way around. If it's not too late (if you haven't already sent the kids back), what I suggested is the better way. A judge will neither listen to, nor sympathize with, complaints about you not being able to afford an attorney (and therefore trying to goad your ex into initiating the lawsuit, so it would be more affordable for you). Be up-front about what you want and why.
I haven't checked this thread in a while, so if you HAVE already sent the kids back, you can still file the Emergency Petition to Show Cause (if he doesn't immediately respond, by disclosing to you and the Court what his and the children's address is, he will look really bad at the custody hearing); the Petition for Custodial Evaluation; and the Petition for Modification of Custody. Once you get that ball rolling, if he doesn't toe the line and let you talk to the kids whenever you call and see them every time you try to visit, he will just push the judge further and further into your camp, at the custody hearing. But you have to toe the line, too, and wait for a ruling in your favor.