Can my Ex Issue a Court Order to Prevent me from Moving Out of State with My Child?

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“Mother wants to move out of state (to Minnesota from Ohio) to join her spouse.

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I was never married to my daughter’s father, his name is on the birth certificate and we have done a paternity so that she would have a medical card. He does not pay child support through an agency and we have never been to court over any custody issues. I gave him notice before my husband left that we would be leaving after Christmas and he was fine about it. Now he has changed his mind, even though my husband is already there working and making more money and we have bought a home. Also I have been accepted to a better school and my daughter will also be attending a better school. Her father has told me that he can have a judge put in an order that I can not live farther than 50 miles from him. I have spoke to a local attorney and I was told that I could leave, but her father believes that I was given a biased opinion. This is all very stressful for me. Any answers you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!”

Move away cases are tough and the laws vary from state to state. If you have been primarily responsible for the care of your daughter, it is likely that you would be allowed to make your intended move. If father has been visiting consistently with daughter, it will probably be in her best interests to continue doing that, so a Court would likely order some visitation schedule (so you might want to think of how that would happen, realizing you are the one responsible for creating the distance). It does not sound to me like the trust and cooperation required for a parenting plan without a Court order exist between you and biological father any more. If you take your daughter without first obtaining an order, he may try to drag you back to Minnesota to have the case heard if he has done everything he needs to do to be adjudged the presumed father. It will take some time to establish residency in Ohio such that the Court there would have jurisdiction. Best case would be the two of you coming to a visitation agreement and setting up the schedule before you leave.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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