Can I leave the state?


I need to have a question answered quickly.

I am a single mother of a 2yo living in Charlotte, NC. The father is rarely in the picture, meaning he only sees our child when he finds the time. He does keep some personal items at my apartment and usually comes during the day to shower and change then he’s gone again. I rarely see him when I get home from work. I am a responsible, hardworking person, I have my child in daycare, we have an apartment, I do everything I can to stay off welfare and have been very successful in doing so. I make just enough money to make ends meet. My parents have been assisting me when I need extra money and have been on and off for 2 years.

The father does not work, does not pay child support, he is a felon – recently getting out of jail in October 08. He has a record including abusive actions towards women, drugs, suspended license and theft. He is verbally abusive to me around our child when he happens to come around. Back in 07, I filed a restraining order against the father for abuse and was given full custody of our child since the baby was present when the abuse happened. The restraining order was issued for my child and me for 30 days, but not sure if this full custody is still in effect today.

All my family is in another state and I have absolutely no family support from his side here in Charlotte.

I want to move to another state where my family lives. They are willing to help me with my child so I can go to college and get a degree. They will provide financial support and a place to live while I am in school. I really want to do this for the sake of my child’s future and mine, but not sure what my rights are.

My question is: Do I need to file anything before I go, or can I just leave? I doubt if the father will put up a fuss, and if he does – what are his chances with his history that he will get any form of custody and keep me in Charlotte?

We have never been married. He is on the birth certificate. There are no pending court orders. :frowning:


If the restraining order was only issued for 30 days it has expired, and thus so have its related provisions on custody. You may move out of state if the father consents in a signed notarized agreement, otherwise you should file an action for child custody and present your case to the judge.
If you leave without taking action, the father could initiate an action for emergency child custody to have the child returned to North Carolina. If he moves forward with this type of action it will not bode well for you in the custody case.
While relocation cases are difficult when the father fights, it is not impossible. The facts you present make a strong showing that the relocation will be in the best interests of the child, but there are no guarantees in court.