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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My daughter is with me in Missouri for the summer as agreed

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My daughter is with me in Missouri for the summer as agreed to on the child parenting plan in the divorce decree. The rest of the year she lives with her mother in Alabama. My daughters mother is threatening to come get my daughter because my girlfriend and i live together and are getting married this summer. She says Alabama has a law against a child staying the night in a household where the couple isnt married. Is this true and if so does it apply to us in Missouri?

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Customer:

Hi

Brandon M. :

Hi, thank you for your question.

Customer:

So does she have a leg to stand on with what she told me?

Brandon M. :

There is no such law in Alabama. Even if there was, it would not apply to a child staying the night with an unmarried couple in Missouri, even if Alabama was the child's home state.

Brandon M. :

I would recommend having your child parenting plan examined to make sure that the court has not made an order specific to your case that might govern overnights, but there is no law encompassing that situation in general.

Customer:

Our parenting plan was very basic and was filed in Montana when we divorced. Would she be able to have it changed without me knowing?

Brandon M. :

Each parent is entitled to due process, which means that no change in a custody plan may be made without first giving notice of the request to the other parent, and an opportunity for the other parent to be heard by the court.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

SHe has also threatened to have either her mother or her boyfreind and even the police come get her if i did not take her to stay with my mom. Are these empty threats as well. Her mother and boyfreind have power of attorney papers while she is deployed

Customer:

Yes it makes sense

Brandon M. :

Well, what's her theory for involving police? It's not illegal for a child to stay the night in a household where the couple isn't married, and it's not against the law for you to make her unhappy, so what law is broken?

Customer:

Thats what i asked, i cannot talk to her sensibly. She said i will be contacted by her lawyer in the morning so i am trying to cover my bases first

Brandon M. :

You have given me no reason to believe that there is any cause for police involvement. I don't mean to be disrespectful to your child's mother, so please do not interpret this as disrespect, but her understanding of the law and accompanying threats are pretty ridiculous.

Customer:

I believe that as well but i have heard of crazier things happening to fathers. Doesnt seem like we have the respect of the court like mothers do involving children.

Brandon M. :

Well, there are a lot of rumors and fears surrounding the rights of parents and fathers in particular, so I can't blame you for being weary and feeling cautious. But you have not given me any reason to believe that there is any cause for police involvement when the only claimed wrongdoing is that a child is staying the night in a household where the parent is cohabitating unmarried.

Customer:

Well i definitely appreciate the help and advice.

Brandon M. :

Certainly. The mother is clearly emotionally upset by things. I would just encourage you to be the bigger person in this situation and understand that, despite what her history may be, she may be simply incapable of perceiving things properly. Fortunately, the law is not driven by such emotions, and your child's mother is not the decision maker on what is or isn't legal.

Customer:

Thank you very much!

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