Can I leave with my son and not get charged with kidnapping?

I have been with my partner for over 10 years. We have a son together, age 7, who was born in FL. We now live in GA and are unmarried. 4 years ago, I was forced to sign papers to legitimize the father as the legal father since we are not married. We want to separate since we are both very unhappy together. We have tried to work things out but unfortunately cannot do it any longer. He has been unemployed for over 2 years. I work 50+hours/week. I need to know my rights as a mother.

Asked on August 24, 2011 Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry that your situation has deteriorated to such an extent.  I am clarifying here that you are only concerned about custody issues with regard to your son and not issues about common law or property rights, correct?  Generally speaking, you and your son;s father have the same rights under the law to custody and visitation.  So leaving with him could become an issue for you later on in a custody hearing and determination.  I would consult with an attorney in your area and bring a proceeding to establish custody and visitation for your son and his father and to ask that you be the custodial parent.  But be aware that if he is not working he may be the one to watch your son while you are working these late hours.  How much you make does not determine custody.  The best interests of the child does.  Good ;luck.


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