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Well, i would like to know what my rights are as a paternal…

Well, i would like...

Well, i would like to know what my rights are as a paternal father to my daughter, Someone told me that because we have never gone to court for custody, and were never married, that she can move out of state. Is this true? I have been involved in everything, and that little girl is the world to me, I just want to put my fears at rest.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No, we are still on good terms with eachother in regards ***** ***** the children and working out custody ourselves, I get them Fri-Mon, she is just emotionally involved with someone who has warrants and she really loves him, i just want to make sure she cant leave with my daughter.

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

CA

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Im a very concerned parent, all i have is the wellbeing of my daughter in mind. It might be undue stress because she swears she would never move away with the kids, im just nervous and need answers

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Answered in 10 minutes by:
5/8/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,425
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Thanks for your patience. So, as of today, without a court order, she could technically move the child out of state, this means that you need to move extremely quick on getting something in writing from the court that will prevent her from doing so if you are the father.

Custody, visitation, and child support are always difficult issues to sort out, but thankfully the courts are there to help settle the score on the issue. If you are looking to modify custody, visitation, or child support, you’ll have to go through the court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to get a change in one of those things. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and one to the other party. It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the child above all else. This means they will look into who and how the child’s health, education, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for one parent, but because the kids cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge when you are dealing with the other side because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes. The point here is to get an order from the judge that helps the parties know exactly how much time and money they must spend with the child(ren).

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Regardless, once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. They will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

Because I value your input, I would like to know what other questions did you have for me today that I can help you out with:-)?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Could i just get a notarized agreement stating that neither me nor her are allowed to move out of state with the children?

You could; however, that only makes a small difference. It's not enforceable in court. The reason ins because only the family courts can enter in an order that is enforceable. Some parents can work things out and not get the courts involved, but I don't usually recommend it. Did you have any other questions for me today?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I really dont want to go to court, we make great co-parents, lets say the worst did happen and she did move out of state, what steps could i take at that time to get her back?

Good question. If that is the case, then you should file a custody case. You can ask the court to order she return the child as a part of the custody case:-).

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Ok, but how hard is that to go through? Is it harder once she moves to get her to come back? I have been involved in all activities, schooling, and have had 50% time if not more, with the children, My daughter has family here from both sides, cousins, friends, a schedule, wouldnt it be likely that the court would rule that taking her away from a actively involved father who loves her dearly constitute something that is counterproductive to the childs wellbeing? Also, she makes 65k a year i make about 25k, would it be likely that she would be awarded child support? How do custody orders work in regards ***** ***** the schedule that we have been adhering to is she has her Monday -Friday (with half days being on monday and friday) And i have her Friday-Monday (she works double shifts on the weekends). So there is no other way to get a enforcable order to not be able to move out of state besides going to family courts?

It's not super hard. The family courts are filled with people in the exact same situation. It is likely that the court would not want her to go away if she has roots where you live; however, there's no guarantee. Also, if you make more money, it is probable that she would be awarded some child support. The custody orders work based on what you two agree to, but the court will set something up if you two can't come to an agreement on how to split the custody. The court typically wants you to present it with options and then it'll give you their blessing.

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Ok, so, lets say i can convince her to do this without getting mad, what exactly am i looking to get from the courts, just a order stating that i am the father and have full parental rights, neither one of us are allowed to move out of state with the child? Because, correct me if im wrong, because we have never been to court and were never married, i dont have any actual rights concerning my child right now?

Yes, that's the order you'd be looking for, along with setting the child support amount. You could also ask the court that she not move out of state with the child as well. Also, it's a bit of a misconception that you have no rights because you were unmarried at the time of her birth. You have rights, but those rights become significantly more enforceable with a court order.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Hey there legal eagle, So ive talked with the mother, she has agreed to sign a document stating that we share 50% custody and niether parent will be allowed to move out of state or Madera and fresno counties, she also wants a clause in there saying that if anything should happen to either one of us full guardianship would go to the other party. Are you guys authorized to help me type up that in legal wording so i can print and we can sign, get it notorized and turned into family court?

Good question. I would love to help; however, my dance card is a bit full with clients. What I'd recommend is posting a new question and another attorney on the site may be able to take over:-)

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