The answer to this question depends on whether there has been a divorce, or a prior court order that addresses visitation, now called "Parenting Time".
If there has not been a divorce, or prior court order that has addressed this issue, you need to have the issue decided by a court, by filing a divorce, motion, or otherwise. Without a prior divorce judgment, or court order establishing custody and "Parenting Time", either party can deny access to the children, or not return them after a visit.
If there is a prior order, and one of the party's violate it by not allowing access to the children, or returning them, as required in the judgment or order, you should contact the police department, and then file a motion with the court.
A recurring problem that I see, is when there is a prior judgment or order, but it's vague and not specific about the exact parenting time. In these cases, a spiteful ex can use the vagueness to deny or restrict visitation, causing alot of frustration, which affects not only the other party, but the children as well. Examples of such vague language and situations include:
-"the parties agree to reasonable and liberal visitation"
-"the parties will decide on a parenting time schedule"
-"visitation from Friday to Sunday" (but no times)
-specifies the times but not who drives the children to and from the parenting time.
-no specifics about holiday, birthdays and vacation times
- nothing about supervised visitation, if the non-custodial parent has a history or drug or alcohol abuse, violence, or an unfit living environment, or the presents a risk of parental abduction and flight to another State with the child..
If you do not have a prior judgment or order, or its vague and you're being denied access to your children, you need to file the appropriate paperwork to have the matter decided by the court and specific terms entered.
I have over 25years experience handling Divorce and Family Law matters. If you, a family member, or friend needs help, call my offcie for a free consultation. I'll explain the law and how I can help.
All the Best!
RANDY C. REDDEN