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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Texas

    My son and his girlfriend have been living together for 3 years. They have a 1 year old son together. She has 2 girls that are 6 and 3. The six year old has a father that does not exercise his visitation rights and pays no child support. The 3 year old was conceived while she was married to husband #1 but belongs to another man, so when she divorced husband #1, he refused to claim her although he is on the birth certificate. She and my son are now splitting up. My son wants to take the baby and move to Utah, where we (his family) are so he can have some help with the baby and financial help. She has no responsible family (they are all drug addicts) and my son has always kept her family away from the baby. (He had no say over the other 2). She also has no family with any money to pay attorneys, as we do. Since they are not married, and have no custody papers or legal contract between them, and my son is on the birth certificate, can he just take the baby and come to Utah?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    That would be VERY stupid of him to do so.

    He needs to file for custody in Texas and be prepared that the order may not allow him to move.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    3

    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    That would be VERY stupid of him to do so.

    He needs to file for custody in Texas and be prepared that the order may not allow him to move.
    I must be very stupid, but could you elaborate on WHY that would be very stupid? He is not kidnapping him, he is his child. Her family and herself are a bunch of drug addicts that spend all their money on drugs (hence the separation). They do not have money to fight us, all 3 of her sisters have given up children to the state via CPS, 2 of which have spent time in jail for CPS related causes. The other one simply gave hers up to CPS. Her mother has overdosed 4 times in the last year, and refused state help with her addiction to pain meds. Her father is bankrupt and has no income. My son wants to get the baby out of that atmosphere and come to a safe place where he has family support, can he move to Utah and then file papers there?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    Because he's not the child's LEGAL custodian at this point.

    He needs to file for custody in Texas (because Texas has jurisdiction), and request permission to relocate the child to Utah. If he leaves without doing this, Mom can march right down to court and demand the child be returned to Texas. The court will likely rule in her favor unless Dad can prove that Mom - not her family - but Mom herself - is unfit.

    Please understand - Mom doesn't need money OR attorneys to do this.

    So, different question for you.

    Who, during the last year, has been the baby's primary caregiver (I mean day to day, not financially)?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Because he's not the child's LEGAL custodian at this point.

    He needs to file for custody in Texas (because Texas has jurisdiction), and request permission to relocate the child to Utah. If he leaves without doing this, Mom can march right down to court and demand the child be returned to Texas. The court will likely rule in her favor unless Dad can prove that Mom - not her family - but Mom herself - is unfit.

    Please understand - Mom doesn't need money OR attorneys to do this.

    So, different question for you.

    Who, during the last year, has been the baby's primary caregiver (I mean day to day, not financially)?
    My son was laid off in June, so since June he has been drawing unemployment compensation and taking care of all three children 24/7. She is working for Denny's as a manager. My husband and myself take care of any bills that they can't pay. I lived with them and took care of the children until she could go back to work after the baby came. Her father took care of them when there was no one else.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    Advise your son to file for custody immediately. If he's been the child's primary caregiver he may stand a chance at primary custody.

    However, moving to Utah? I can't see that happening unless again, he can somehow show the court that Mom is not fit to be the primary custodial parent OR that moving away will benefit the child more than the child not being able to spend time with Mom.

    Nothing you have said here indicates that.

    Please bear in mind that regardless of Mom's family and their issues, your son did choose her to be the parent of his child. That tells the court that she's perfectly fit and they will agree with him unless he can prove otherwise.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Toledo, OH
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    Default Re: Does Unwed Father Have Right to Take Child and Move Out of State

    He is not kidnapping him, he is his child.
    Actually, yes he would be. Unless and until there is a court ordered custody and visitation plan in place, Mom legally gets to make all the rules.

    They do not have money to fight us, all 3 of her sisters have given up children to the state via CPS, 2 of which have spent time in jail for CPS related causes. The other one simply gave hers up to CPS. Her mother has overdosed 4 times in the last year, and refused state help with her addiction to pain meds. Her father is bankrupt and has no income.
    This is all irrelevant, and the judge will tell your son so at the custody hearing if he tries to bring it up. He would have to show that the child's mother is unfit, and unless she's in jail or on her umpty-umpth round of rehab, that's not going to happen. (You will not be a party to that hearing, even if you pay for his lawyer. Legally, you are a stranger to the child.)

    My son wants to get the baby out of that atmosphere
    Unless all of those people live with them - and you've already said your son has kept his child away from them, so I'll assume they don't live there - your son and the child are not in "that atmosphere". What grown adults do in their four walls is their own business. They're completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    can he move to Utah and then file papers there?
    No. He MUST file the custody action in Texas, as that is where the child lives and has lived.

    If he hopes to stand a snowball's chance, he needs to do this correctly. That would be with the assistance of an attorney, through the Texas Family Courts, and he MUST abide by the court's decision. To pursue sole custody and relocation rights, he will need to prove to the courts that it is in the best interests of the child to relocate to Utah. He needs to be able to prove that Mom is utterly incapable of caring for the child, or that the child is in danger if Mom retains sole custody.

    Truthfully, the best he can hope for is joint legal and joint physical custody. It is very, very rare for the courts to allow one parent to just hie off to another state entirely.
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