Ask A Lawyer: Can She Move After An Order Of Paternity Is Served?


When my son was born, his mother would not have my name placed on the birth certificate.  By her own admission, this was done to negate my rights to him. We were not married.

I filed an order for paternity to have my rights established. After she was served, she quit her job, cancelled the lease on her apartment, and moved to Florida within 5 days.

Is there any law that states a child cannot be removed from the state after being served?




Yes, both state and federal laws address removing a child from the state once certain legal proceedings have been commenced.  While the laws may require her to return the child to your state, the practical aspects of obtaining her compliance can be complicated.  The specifics of your situation need to be reviewed by a qualified multi-state domestic litigation firm, such as Cordell & Cordell, to evaluate the appropriate next steps in pursuing return of the child and establishing your paternal rights and obligations.   While you may be confident as to your paternity, it is generally advisable to seek paternity testing as part of any proceedings to confirm your responsibilities, as once you are adjudicated the father, even future paternity testing may not be sufficient to reverse a paternity judgment should you later have reason to believe you may not be the father.


Richard Coffee is a Litigation Manager in the Belleville Illinois office of Cordell & Cordell. He is an experienced divorce attorney whose practice is devoted to domestic litigation. He is licensed in the State of Illinois and is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Central and Southern Illinois.

Mr. Coffee has extensive domestic litigation trial experience representing clients in courts throughout Illinois on all aspects of domestic litigation, including the representation of clients who are current or retired military personnel with issues under the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act and the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act, clients involved in state court jurisdictional disputes due to the relocation of one or both parties from or to Illinois, and clients with government or private pension benefit valuation and division issues. 

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