Can I move to another city with my children without the consent of their father? 12 Answers as of May 10, 2011

Last year the father of my kids and I were having terrible relationship problems. He basically left me with nowhere to go. I had to move to another city with our two children. I moved and started a new school and life. He convinced me to move back to him with our kids because he said he wanted to try and work things out. He never did. So now I’m here living with him, unemployed and now he wants me to move out or he will. I want to move back to where I did the first time he dumped his kids and me. He is telling me I cant. What are my rights? Can I move?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is a very common question. Unless there is a court order stating otherwise, you are free to move. That said, the proper jurisdiction is where you live or have lived for the last 90 days (6 months if you plan to move to a new state). Accordingly, you can move unless the Court has issued an order to the contrary, but he can file a motion with the Court for divorce when you move and ask the Court to order you back to the county of residence. That latter part by the way, is extreme and the Court will do it, but only if it is appropriate considering the circumstances. Do you live in Collin or Dallas County? Or, do you plan to move to Collin or Dallas County? If you answer yes to either of these, please call my office for an appointment, I will try to give you more specific information after getting some details from you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/10/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
While you are married, you each have equal rights to take the children wherever. Under your fact scenario, I'd be doubtful that the divorce court would grant him much relief. Once you have lived in another state with the kids for six months, you can file for divorce there. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/6/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
Yes. But he can file for divorce or to establish a parenting plan if you are not married.. Washington will have jurisdiction fine does it soon enough and you'll have a court fight in Washington that you will need to attend to. Why not file for parenting plan in a parentage action or divorce him and immediately seek an order giving you permission to move to wherever and that will probably be close to the end of it.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/6/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Apparently you are not married and there has never been any parental rights (custody) case that resulted in a court order. If that is true, the father has no specific rights and there are no rules limiting what you can do, legally. He might be able to stop you from leaving, or require you to come back, but to do that without committing a criminal act of violence he will need to start court proceedings to have a judge set the rules for each parent. If he does that, the court will definitely require him to start paying you some child support. Until he does that, you are free to do what you believe is best for you and your children.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/6/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
It depends how far away you are going. You may want to get court orders that permit you to go depending on the circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 5/6/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    If there are no current child custody Orders in place, there is no LEGAL prohibition to moving. However, a move should be contemplated with competent legal counsel to assure your legal position is maintained if a court case is filed. It will not be wise to do this on your own. We are able to advise, and protect custodial arrangements for those clients we represent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    The answer depends on many things. First, no consent is required to relocate in Minnesota if the relocation is within the State. However, if the parties share legal custody, any change in schools is a joint decision that must be discussed and agreed upon. Additionally, if the relocation would make the parenting schedule unworkable, the parenting schedule must be mediated and modified.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You need some good legal advice before you do anything. I can not answer all of your questions based just on what you have written. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    This may depend in part on whether the father ever signed an acknowledgment of paternity, or was determined by the court to be the legal father of the children, or a parenting plan was ever entered with the court for the children. If there is no parenting plan, then you can likely move. Keep in mind, however, that if he is the legal father of the children and there is no parenting plan, then he may have the same rights to the children as you do. Therefore the first step is really to get a parenting plan in place. If there is a parenting plan or other court order regarding the residence of the children, then there is a notice form you need to complete and give to him before you can move. It then is up to him to file a court action to prevent the move. If you are in King County, our office can assist you with the paperwork you will need. You can also contact the county Bar Association to find out what other forms of assistance may be available in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    If you're in Washington State-specifically Western Washington-feel free to contact my office for a free, no obligation initial consultation-by phone or in person. We are experienced and affordable.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If there is no Paternity or Divorce case filed, and no existing orders prohibiting your moving your children to another place, you can move with your children to enable you to survive.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If there are no orders and no one has filed a petition with the court, then there is nothing preventing you from moving. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
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