General Question

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

If custody has not been established, can a parent legally move their child out of state?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10086 points ) April 29th, 2012

Lets say the father of a child has abandoned his child and girlfriend, is unable to be found, and has not provided any type of financial support. Lets also say there is currently a warrant out for his arrest due to a domestic violence charge and threatening the life of his girlfriend and child. There is also an order of protection against him. If the mother wants to move out of state and take her child, of which she’s had in her care from the day of birth and since the father left, is she able to legally do so without the consent of the father? If not, what would the proper steps be? This is in the state of NY.

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12 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

Is his name on the child’s birth certificate? If so, he does have some paternal rights and he could try to stop you from moving out of the state if he wanted to. That being said, as there is no custody agreement already in place, it would all depend on if he fights it and who the judge is that you appear in front of. NY does allow the custodial parent to move out of state in some cases, but it can be blocked as well depending on the situation. If his name is not on the birth certificate, he would have to establish paternity before having paternal rights.

Honestly, you should try to speak with a family lawyer to be sure you are doing everything you need to do from a legal standpoint so that it isn’t held against you later on. You should also try to get a custody order before you move stating you have sole physical and legal custody. There are some lawyers that will do a free consultation, try to find one of those to speak with for starters and go from there. Good luck!

jrpowell's avatar

“Lets say the father of a child has abandoned his child and girlfriend, is unable to be found”

What makes you think he would start caring now. He probably wouldn’t even know. There is nothing attaching you to the state you are in. There is no legal order that says you have to stay where you are.

bewailknot's avatar

I do think it might be worth your while to establish legal custody. He could decide to take the child and with no one having a custody order he could beat you to it just to hurt you.

If you do relocate but have family/friends where you used to live, and he decides to be involved in the future he will be able to find you through them. With today’s information highway, unless you change your name he will be able to find you pretty easily anyway. A friend lost contact with her granddaughter because the mother moved to another state and changed her name – my friend’s son was in and out of prison and the child’s mom was afraid he would take the baby the next time he got out just to spite her.

Judi's avatar

You really should get legal custody and child support ordered. Him not paying ordered child support will give you leverage.

john65pennington's avatar

I assumed you two were never married, so that lets out most of the legalities involved. Is his name on the child’s birth certiificate? If not, that is a plus for you. He has not paid child support that is another plus for you.

You are alone with your child and the bilogical father has not taken efforts to be its father?

I would leave the State of New York and go where you please.

Let him figure out the legalities and there are not many for him.

marinelife's avatar

I would go ahead and move, but I would then seek legal counsel and go about obtaining sole custody.

YARNLADY's avatar

You can do it, but you should protect yourself and the child by getting court ordered sole custody right now. Do not wait for trouble to find you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Ask a lawyer, honey. And definitely get custody NOW, like @YARNLADY said.

creative1's avatar

I would file a petition in the family court to have his rights terminated, from what it looks like he would be considered to have abandoned his child if its been more than a period of 1 year since he visited his child. This would then give her the right to do what she wishes in terms of the child including moving to what ever state she wants and gives her the right to also allow another to adopt the child if she meets and marries someone later on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@creative1 In the 80’s, anyway, it was 2 years.

bkcunningham's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217, please, please, please. It won’t cost you one red cent to call your county’s department of child support services and have them represent you in filing for child support. You and I both know he isn’t going to pay, but you will be eligible for financial support from the state. They will keep track of what you are paid and the state will go after him to repay them. Do the right thing by your child and stay put long enough to get a child support order in place.

Seaofclouds's avatar

The only problem I see with just up and leaving is the fact that nothing to date has been documented (from the sounds of it). There’s no documentation with the court saying he abandoned his child. There is an order of protection though that says he must stay away, which could actually go against the abandonment claim since he’s not allowed to see the child right now. Though it doesn’t help his claim in regards to custody/visitation if he were to make one.

If you up and leave and he wants to fight it, he could say you are kidnapping his child and it would be your word against his. That is why I really think you need to get in touch with a lawyer and get sole physical and legal custody on paper before you do anything. Yes, he may not want anything to do with your child right now, but people can be mean and do cruel things just out of spite. Why give him an opening when there are legal ways to cover yourself? Lack of child support does not equal child abandonment, so that alone does not prove abandonment.

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