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Do I have to inform my child's estranged biological father that we're moving states?

UPDATED: August 21, 2012

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If you are not married to your child's father, do not have an official custody arrangement set up by the court, and there is no support being paid, you may not necessarily have to inform him that you are moving the child out of state. However, you may have to in certain cases. Whether or not you do depends on the laws where you live. 

The Rules for Moving Out of State

In custody cases where an organized agreement is in place, one of the stipulations is that the child cannot be moved out of state without the knowledge and consent of the non-custodial parent. In some states, this is the case no matter what, provided the father can be contacted and is not deceased or unknown.

This means, depending on where you live, even if the father is barely involved, you may still have to get his consent for an intrastate move if he has not waived all of his parental rights in writing. In some areas, the law provides even more protection for fathers, and states that if the father did not have rights of approval before, he will get them if he decides to file for them within ten days after he is notified of the move.

If the Father Does not Agree to the Move

Since the father must be notified, and he has the right to contest the move in many states, an issue may arise where a biological father does go to court and petition to prevent you from moving. If this occurs, then the court will make a determination about whether or not you may move based on the best interests of the child. If the non-custodial parent has had no involvement in the child's life up until that point, then the court may deem it in the child's best interests to continue residing with the mother and to move with the mother to her new home. In such cases, the court would then grant the mother permission to move, despite the father's objections. 

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