Because my Child’s Father Pays Child Support, Can he Prevent me from Moving Away?

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“My ex boyfriend and I have a daughter together and we live in the same town. I have been wanting to move away but I do not know if I can do that legally because I know that he would not want me to do that. He just started paying child support after I filed for it and has been trying to get me to stop it because he got a DUII and his license will stay suspended until he pays off all of the back pay. Since he now pays child support does he have any say in where I take our daughter? If that is the case, would I be able to stop the child support and move away without him having any say so about it? I know that when the mother has the child they have custodial custody of the child. The most that he takes her is two nights a week, but usually he only has her one night. Sometimes he only takes her for a day. I was wondering, since he only has her for that short period of time a week, how much custody do I have over my daughter? Can I make big decisions like that and not have to worry about him having any say about it? Or would I have to stop the child support order? Also, if I stopped the order would he have no say about what happens with her? We never went to court for custody so I have the custodial custody since she lives with me. I live in Oregon if that helps you with the laws that apply to my questions. Please help.”

Question: Your daughter is entitled to be supported by both of her parents whether you live in the same town or different states. So stopping the support does not benefit your daughter or promote your goals. It seems as if you have de facto custody, and there is no disagreement on that. Without a Court order, there does not seem to be anything stopping you from moving. Having said that, if you do move without making timeshare arrangements with the father, he will _VERY LIKELY_ file as soon as you do move and you will have to come back to the town to figure out a visitation plan. And sometimes the person that just leaves, thereby frustrating parental rights and upsetting the status quo, does not get looked at too kindly by the Court. The very novel act of “communicating” to let him know of your intention and to see if you can work out a parenting plan that will keep daughter involved in both parents’ lives is a good first step. If the very act of discussing it leads either of you to file a paternity action to determine a custody and visitation schedule, then that is probably what should happen anyway. After all, it is your daughter’s right to have a consistent relationship with parents as long as those parents have the desire and ability to be part of her life. Don’t deprive her of that.