Not married, child custody question


Dear Marlee:

Greetings. First, North Carolina law does not prohibit you moving if her father does not agree. There are cases on the issue, but no law in place that directly say that you cannot move out of the state. You cannot move with the child out of NC to avoid NC jurisdiction.

  1. You need a good reason to move - better job, family as daycare, etc. Tell him that you are planning to move, pick the date, etc.

  2. Yes, it may mean that, but also, if the situation is better for you in NY and you have primary physical custody, then it is likely that you can relocate. It honestly is a situation by situation/case by case analysis.

  3. Possibly.

  4. Yes, all over the website you can find information. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


I have a question about child custody in NC. My boyfriend and I were never married and now have a 2 year old daughter that I want to get sole custody of. I want to move to New York with her but I understand that NC law will prohibit me from moving if her father does not agree with us moving. One of the reasons I asked him to move out of the apartment 2 months ago was due to anger issues, disrepect to us, verbal abuse, and possible endangerment. A few weeks he came by the apartment and physically attacked me but was afraid and never filed a police report - can I file one now or is it too late? He has never really showed interest in her, nor has he spent a lot of time with her. Now he is fighting for joint custody so he does not have to pay me child support. Our incomes are basically the same. Now he spends more time with her (since the separation) trying to show everyone that is is a good father.

(1) Is there any way that I can move to NY right now with my daughter since no papers have been served to me stating I cannot leave?
(2) If our case goes to court and takes years to battle out the custody agreement, does that mean my daughter and I cannot leave the state of NC? (3) If I end up marrying a man in NY does that change anything with my daughter’s arrangements? (4) Is there any website or information on your forum that I can read up on for my situation to get more educated?

Thank you.