Can the Mother Move the Child Without the Father’s Consent?

Question: 

Can the mother of a child move with the child to another state or country when the father of the child doesn’t agree with it? They are not married and do not have any custody agreements made within the court.

 

 

Answer:

I do not practice in Illinois and paternity issues are specific to each state.  Therefore, you should contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Illnois immediately (preferably prior to her moving).  Cordell & Cordell has attorneys licensed and located in Illinois who would be happy to help.  Depending on how your state treats paternity actions, he may have no say in the move.  Because they were not married at the time the child was born he may have to be adjudicated before any custody or placement rights are established.  Even if he signed the voluntary acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital, that does not mean that he has custody and placement rights.  Without a paternity order, many states default to sole legal custody and placement with the mother.  He can petition the court through a paternity action for custody and placement, however, he should be aware that this will trigger child support as well.  Once there is a Paternity Order with the Court, many states have statutes in place which permit him to object to the move.  In that scenario, it would be the mother’s burden to prove that the move is in the child’s best interest.

Regardless of whether paternity has been established, he should contact an attorney in Illinois immediately while the child is still in the jurisdiction of Illinois courts.

 

 

Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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