Can My Girlfriend Move Our Child To Another State?

Ask a Lawyer


I am not married but recently had a baby with my girlfriend. We are not happy in the relationship and I am about to move out, but I just found out she wants to move to a different state.

Can she legally move our child out of state? If so, what can I do to prevent it?

move our child
Family law attorney Erica Eberle


You should schedule a meeting with an attorney as quickly as possible to fully arm yourself with relevant legal knowledge on maximizing your parenting time and to finalize a strategy on how to achieve your goals.

Your current state is likely where an action will be filed since the child has been living there for six months or more, and that will be considered the child’s “home state.”

First, paternity should be formally established because it is likely that you are not considered definitively the father until a court order says you are.

Then, a parenting plan and child support amount should be set, and the issue of whether the mother can remove the child to another state will be addressed.

It is crucial that you know your rights before you sign and agree to anything.

Also, many states will attempt to maximize both parents’ co-parenting time, which may mean that the child can possibly reside with you 50 percent of the time.

Only a family law attorney in your area can advise you of what the probabilities are of you keeping the child in your state while she moves to another.

You may be required to pay child support until the child turns 18 or 21, and in other states, it is until the child is both 18 and graduated from high school. Be aware that interest may accrue, and sometimes that interest is very high!

A licensed attorney in your state can analyze the financial aspect of your case to determine exactly how much is owed and hopefully set up a reasonable payments for you. It is also possible that you will have a judgment entered against you for child support owed since the baby was born.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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