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Erin M. JD
Erin M. JD, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 137
Experience:  Practice Family Law in Texas
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I am living in Ohio and am an I married single mother. I want

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I am living in Ohio and am an I married single mother. I want to relocate to NJ where I have family and support to help me with my child and am wondering if I need to inform the child's father? We do not have any legal agreements concerning visitation and have never been to court for custody of our daughter. He does not pay child support and live in the same state as me and my daughter but lives an hour away from us. I was thinking of changing my address on my drivers liscence to my new address in nj fist as I will be living with family who already have a home in nj first before telling him about our move so that we can establish residency in nj before he can object to me moving.

Erin M. JD : Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you! You do not have a legal duty to inform him of the move if there are no orders. That being said, if he is involved in the child's life, he will most likely file something immediately requesting a restriction, and the court could require the child to return to the area.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Under what circumstances would I have to bring her back to the area? What could I do to assure that her and I will be able to stay in New Jersey?
A court can order a geographic restriction on the child if, for example, the father has a close relationship with the child, and she has always lived there. You say you have a support system in NJ, and that will be taken into consideration in the court's decision. There is never a 100% guarantee of what a judge will order, but preparing a plan for the father to have regular visitation (if he even requests) is a good start. Something else to consider is bearing part of the cost to get the child there for visits, or by agreeing that his child support would be lower than the guideline amount so he can afford the costs of travel. You want to make sure you are willing to help so the court allows you to stay in NJ with the child. Of course, this is only if he seeks court intervention.
I'm sorry you are not satisfied with my answers. Please inform me as to how I can better answer your question. Do you need further explanation on the reasons as to why the court could restrict the child's residence?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes I am confused as to how and why the court could restrict the child's residence. If I have full legal and physical custody of her and we move how could he fight that? If I change my drivers license and my address to nj does that automatically make my daughter and myself residents of nj or does it take a period of time? Would both of us legally being residents there make a difference? Is there a better way of going about all of this in your opinion?
The child has to reside in a particular state and county for 6 months before that child is a resident of that state. If you moved to NJ, the dad has up to the 6 months to file a suit, and the court in Ohio would have jurisdiction. NJ would not have jurisdiction of the child until the 6 month period she has been there. Every decision a court makes has to be in the best interest of the child. If dad sees the child, say, 2 days every week, he's probably going to say he has a relationship with the child, and that it would be detrimental for the child to be taken away from him because they have a close relationship, and the relationship is in the best interest of the child. If you move to NJ and he immediately files, the court CAN order you to bring the child back to Ohio if that is the only place the child has ever lived, gone to school, there is a support system there. Courts normally deem the best interest of the child to be that both of the parents have continuing contact with the child. If you are going to NJ and he will not be able to have contact or visits with his child, there is a presumption that this is not in the child's best interest. Just because you move does not mean that the court cannot make you return. Does that explain it better? Think of it this way: If the dad decided that he was going to take the child and move to Michigan, you wouldn't want him to just be able to go and then not have to come back just because he left.If he waits 4 to 5 months before he decides he wants to request you to come back, that is probably not going to happen.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So do you think it would be smarter of me to go to court myself before I do anything and put my case forward as to why it is in her best interest for us to move to nj?
I cannot give you legal advice, just general answers, but you are not legally required to even notify him that you are moving. If he wants the child to stay, it should probably be his decision to file. I'm guessing he will not agree to your move, but if he did, you could sign an agreed order taking care of everything. If he is concerned, he will file. If he is not concerned about his child, he will not file. I don't think it would be smarter to file first. I hope that answers your question. I'm sorry I can't give legal advice!!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I were to move then the court wants me to bring her back would I have to give her up to him? Or would I have to bring her back just for a court date?
The judge cannot restrict your constitutional right to travel, but it can restrict the child's residence because each of you have the right to raise your child. The judge could say that you can go where you want, but the child stays in Ohio, which means you come back or give him the child. Remember that this is never a guarantee. The court determines this on a case-by-case basis. That's why I told you earlier that I cannot tell you 100% that any of this WILL happen, just that it's possible.
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