custody can be taken, you'll know it but whether or not you have any say in the matter is different I beg to differ but, yes it can happen without you knowing. It happened to me and I lived a half a block away from EX. He went to court. Lied about not know my whereabouts (So I never got served) and he was granted custody of the child and the child lived with me! A couple of years later he decides he is going to move out of state. I tell him he cannot do that. He tells me yes I can and pulls out custody papers. There was nothing I could do. I went immediately to the magistrates office and by the time I got back he was gone!. Please protect yourself from this. Get some kind of custody orders. DO NOT trust that your ex will do the right thing. Even if you both agree to be civil adults about the whole thing.