Can I move out of state with a pending court case?

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Can I move out of state with a pending court case?

I had plans to move in April to be with my boyfriend who is in the army and stationed in GA. However, the father of my child has filed a paternity case. Subsequently, I filed for custody and support. The father is not currently on the birth certificate and has no rights. Can I move before the court date? Does it make a difference if we get married and I move?

Asked on March 6, 2011 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem. The father of your child will have rights once the paternity tests come back and then he will have a right to move to amend the birth certificate, the name, and fight for full, joint or other type of custody along with any visitation rights. The support issue will be also addressed at the same time by the same court. If you move to be with your boyfriend, you need to give notice of your location to both the court and the father's legal counsel or him because to do otherwise could put you in a position to automatically default on any motion brought by him or judgment against you. Further, the fact you are moving to be with your boyfriend who is stationed in the army and could be gone for long periods of time is something to review with your family law counsel because the other side could use it against you (perception is sometimes more real than reality) and whether you get married and move or not, the court may also have jurisdiction to prevent your move if the paternity test comes back positive and he moves for custody, as well or visitation may be compromised if you move to another state. Many courts have indirectly precluded such a move or made it so if you move you are in contempt of the order, so it may be best to discuss with your counsel before you decide what your best option is in this situation. Good luck to you and don't forget, the custody and support hearings are held for the benefit of the child, so sometimes neither parents comes out of it really happy with the results.


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