Parental rights when there is not a formal order of custody
My 3 children have been residing with their father for the past year. Yesterday I received a phone call from a detective in their area who informed me that my children have been taken into protective custody due to an allegation of abuse. Apparently they did not know how to contact me in regards to this because the childrens father told the police that I was deceased. The children have been placed temporarily with their father's sister who does not beleive the abuse has actually occurred. I'm in shock and dont know what to think but I dont want them to remain there and am angry that I was not notified sooner. He is no longer in custody and I'm afraid he will traumatize the children further as it was one of them who reported the abuse. I am being told that I have no recourse other than to wait out the criminal proceedings against their father and then petition for custody. Do I have any rights legally?