Can my son's father stop me from moving out of state with our son?
The answer to this question depends on whether the father has ever legitimated the child. If the father has legitimated the child, custody and visitation rights (which would include the ability to move out of state with the child), will be governed by the Parenting Plan which would have been entered in the legitimation action.
If, however, the father has not legitimated the child, he has no rights whatsoever and there is nothing legally preventing you from leaving the state. The only way he can “legally” stop you from leaving on a short-term basis is by filing a legitimation action. Upon filing, you will be served with a standing order that states that neither party can leave the state with the minor child until further order of the court or agreement of the parties. If you are served with this notice, you can still go to the Court to ask for permission to leave the state on a temporary basis, pending the outcome of the legitimation action. It should be noted, however, that depending on the outcome of the legitimation action, you and the child might not be permitted to leave permanently.
By Patrick L. Meriwether, Partner, Meriwether & Tharp, LLC