Is it illegal for me to take my daughter out-of-state without her mother’s consent if we have absolutely no written custody agreement?

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Is it illegal for me to take my daughter out-of-state without her mother’s consent if we have absolutely no written custody agreement?

Want to go from ID to TX.

Asked on February 13, 2011 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First of all, is this a permanent move?  If it is just for a visit, then you have no problem, as long as you let your daughter's mother know where you are. If this is for a permanent move, then things are more complicated.  If there is no court order in affect regarding custody or any other controlling document, you can take your child out-of-state.  However, your husband could go to court in TX and obtain an order which will require you to return to ID.  If you don't comply with the order and come back, you can then be charged with parental kidnapping.  Frankly, the best way for you to obtain legal custody is for you to go to court first. In deciding whether or not you can then move out-of-state, the court will consider "the bests interests of the child" in making its determination. 


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