If i leave my husband can i take my child?

A difficult yet tricky question that most one ponders when they are about to make decisions in their married life. In this article, we will look into possibilities and the right procedure with the children when separation or divorce is looming.

Can I take my child if I leave my husband?

If you are planning to leave your husband in the future and wants to take your children, the answer is no. In some states, it is illegal to take the children even if your wife leaves, except if domestic abuse is happening. Though this has happened in the past, the mother of the children does not have more rights for the children’s custody than it is for the father. 

As a married couple, you share the same rights for the joint-legal custody of the children.  Leaving in such a way may be called parental kidnapping and might be used against the abducting parent his/her custody rights. If you are thinking of just leaving on your own and not taking you the children, this can be called abandonment. This is also not advisable for future custody considerations.

Here are what you can do if you are thinking of leaving the marriage:

  • Consult with a Lawyer

A mother and father of the children share equal rights in the children’s life unless stipulated by court otherwise. If you really intend on leaving the marriage and the kids are involved, it is better to speak to a lawyer for the best advice.  If you want to keep the kids, you will have to go to court. A lawyer will guide you through the process and help you with your chances of getting custody of your child/children.

  • Speak with your Spouse

If domestic abuse or violence is not a question, then speaking with your spouse amicably is the best decision you should do when planning to leave the marriage.  You should speak with your spouse regarding your desire for a divorce and if you can agree on the living situation that will have lesser impact on the normal routine of your children.

Perhaps both of you can agree that one will move out during the separation and allow the joint custody. Speaking amicably with your spouse will make it easier for the family when it disintegrates and when it comes to custody decisions.

  • File for Separation

A couple must be separated for a year and one day before they can file for a divorce, according to Collins Family Law Group in North and South Carolina. There is no requirement to have a separation agreement right away or property settlement to be legally filed, it is best to move forward with this arrangement. 

In a separation agreement, the couple will decide on how to best settle the properties they share that both parties will agree. If they have children,they will have to agree on how the joint custody schedule will be, the spousal support if any, and other legal matters concerning their conjugal rights and properties.

  • Strictly follow the custody agreement

If there are no extenuating circumstances that would be unsafe for the child, it is advisable to settle the agreements amicably between the couple, and follow their agreed upon custody arrangement while separated. If one parent wants to have sole custody, the other parent should still maintain regular visitation schedules and be present with the kids. Do not just pick up the kids and let a sitter or family member take care of your child. 

The best interest of the child should always be protected and judges appreciate a parent’s effort in putting their child first.

What to do if my spouse takes the children?

If your spouse leaves with the children, you have to protect your right as the mother or father.  You need to contact a lawyer specializing in family law and divorce and custody cases.  If you just let this happen, you might lose your chances in the custody case when divorce proceedings start.

Your lawyer should contact your spouse immediately to begin working on an agreement. You cannot just show up and take the kids away from your spouse. It will not be healthy for the children and it might cause more legal battles with your spouse. Be patient and leave it to your lawyer to handle the agreement.  But this should be documented that you still want to be involved in your children’s lives, and not just allowed that to happen.

Create and agree with the visitation schedule and follow it. Like mentioned above, this is important for custody battles as the judge will see how much time you’ve actually spent with your children to determine custody rights. Make sure that you are still involved with the parenting decisions and actually spend quality time with them. Do not miss scheduled visits, otherwise these could be used against you.


Your marriage is not really working anymore, but you have children. Divorce is not easy for the couple, most especially for the children. Family and friends will advise the couple to stay together for the kids, but if the family life is not functioning well anymore, many interventions can be done before the final decision of divorce can be made.

Leaving a marriage with children cannot be a rash decision. If you take the decision of ending it, then how to leave a marriage is just as important as how to leave a marriage with children.  The final decision if you still want to work it out with your spouse or just throw in the towel, is a very emotional decision.  

Divorce is basically a dissolution of marriage, or the legal action that ends the marriage union before the  death of either of the couple. In the termination of the couple’s marriage, the court will handle the separation of properties and the custody of the minor children. 

The law assumes each party is entitled to half of the properties they have acquired during the duration of their marriage.  All the properties acquired while married, even if it’s under one spouse name only, is still considered conjugal property. Courts will determine the distribution of properties among the couple, all its assets and debts as well.

Children of Divorced parents

Many children of divorced parents fare just fine. They can adjust in due time. The most important factor is how to handle the divorce news and how the parents treat the children after divorce. 

To help them understand the situation, it is best to speak to your children together to tell them that you are getting divorced. Tell them that only the living conditions will change but the love for the children will not change. Reassure the children and try to create an amicable and positive environment. 

Being open with the children will help them cope with the news of the divorce. While they don’t need to know the details of the divorce, it is best to help them understand the decision. Listen to your children and be there for them when they ask and need guidance.

Create a harmonious relationship with your soon-to-be-ex, in terms of raising your children. There should be mutually agreed traditions that should still be kept. Make sure to spend lots of time together with the children, and support each other’s household. Leaving a marital home is not easy especially for the children 


Seeing the end of a relationship is hard, and more so for the children. But taking a child away with you when you leave your spouse will make things complicated for both parties. One worst thing that can happen after a divorce, is holding a grudge against your partner indefinitely. It will be like a dark cloud hovering in your home with all its negative feelings, and the children will feel it

If you seek advice from your family friends before taking your child to leave your husband/spouse, most people will suggest that you forgive your partner and move on with life.  Hostility will never get you anywhere, it is unhealthy for yourself and your children. 

If you really find it in your heart to forgive, then do so.


Taking a child away from your spouse or husband when you leave will complicate matters on hand. Both parents have the same equal rights in the custody of the child, and taking them might be construed as parental kidnapping, Or if you leave the marital house without your children, it can be considered as abandonment. Both of which will have a negative impact on the custody battles you will undergo with your spouse. 

Talking it out amicably will go a long way and make things simple in a rather complicated decision the couple will make. When worse comes to worse and the couple decides on the dviorce, the legal matters on the custody will be decided on by the court.

Taking the unpleasantries out of the relationship can help achieve a rather “positive” divorce, that can benefit the children in the long run.

FAQ’s on Can I take my child if i leave my husband?:

I want to leave my husband but he won’t let me take my five kids with me. Can he do that?

If you are still married, you both have custody to the children and you can’t just take them away. You have to consult with a lawyer to make sure to protect your rights.

Can I be charged with abandonment if I leave my husband and the children stay with him instead of coming with me?

You have to talk to a lawyer that specializes in family law and divorce. You can aggravate your case if you leave the house without a written agreement that shows how much time you would spend with kids and vice versa with your husband.

Can I take my child with me when I leave my abusive partner?

Parents still have equal rights to legal custody of their child even if the relationship ends. Both parents have the same equal rights to custody even if one parent did most of the child care, or the other one is abusive. Only a court order can change this situation.

Should an unhappy couple stay together because of a child?

There is no reason to believe that staying together for the sake of the children is better for than divorce. Some parents who stay in an unhappy marriage bring even more disadvantage to their children.

What do you do if your wife leaves with the children?

If your wife leaves with the children with no intention of coming back, consult with a lawyer and file for a divorce. The court will determine the visitation rights with both you and your wife.