I don’t know the laws of New Zealand, but I can tell you this: morally, you have no right to do that, unless, perhaps, you absconded with the children to prevent their father from killing them or from causing serious and irreparable harm. Now even if you are morally justified in doing so, it may still be against the law in your jurisdiction for you to have acted in such a manner, so keep that in mind.
So if you absconded with the children out of an honest fear for their life or safety (and no, “safety” doesn’t mean your subjective definition created to justify self-serving acts) merely because that’s what you wanted or felt is best (as if the father has no voice in the matter):
- find out if you had the legal right to do so;
- even if you did have the legal right to do so, was it fair of you to do so? Fair to the kids? Fair to the father? Would you want to be treated the way you have treated the children and their father by running away with the children and cutting them off from their other parent and cutting their other parent off from them?
- Is there a way to address your concerns without acting as a law unto yourself?
- and if you find out that what you’ve done is a crime, don’t double down on your criminal behavior by trying to lie low. Yes, doing the right thing may mean you become a convicted criminal, you may serve time in prison, and if so, you will obviously lose custody of the children. But most courts should have some compassion for you if you admit you know you did wrong and are doing your best to right those wrongs immediately.
And if you absconded with the children merely because that’s what you wanted or felt is best (as if the father has no voice in the matter):
- shame on you for depriving parent and child of contact and companionship;
- shame on you for depriving the children of their right to be reared by both parents and to enjoy the love and influence of both of their parents;
- you violated the Golden Rule. Now go do the right thing. Do as you would be done by.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277