First of all, thanks so much for providing this forum! I stumbled across it doing a search and have learned a lot here.
I have a child with a person I was not married to and although there is a child support order in place, there is no custody order in place. I married 8 years ago and at that time, my child assumed my husband’s last name. My child’s father sees him every Sunday and so far, has not missed a date save for the off-chance he’s sick. My husband and I would like to move out of state to a city with a better economy and so far, my child’s father has consented.
From reading your forums, I understand that he could contest custody once I leave which would be costly for us. Is there anything I can do now to make formal arrangements for custody that is not too costly? And if so, would I have to prove my case that moving out of state is a benefit for my child?
Thanks so much in advance for your help!
The parties may create and execute a Consent Order giving you custody and allowing you to move, then file a Complaint for Custody and have the Judge enter the mutually agreed upon order, the same would enforceable by law enforcement. If you can get him to agree to that, then you will not necessarily need an attorney to draft the Order. This would be a very low-cost option.
However, If he does not consent to your Order I suggest you file a custody action with the court and seek a custody order that allows the move. If your ex does not consent to you taking the child with you to live out of state you will need to purse a custody action in NC and ask the court for a custody order which allows the move. If you need to pursue such a custody action, I would recommend you hire a lawyer.
My husband thinks that since we have a good relationship with him that we should just talk with him and draw up an arrangement in writing, a parenting agreement maybe, that states he consents to us moving out of state and also lays out our agreement on visitation arrangements. He doesn’t want to fix what isn’t broken and fears that we may do so by getting the courts involved. Is this okay? Would there be any legal ramifications for us if we did this and moved out of state?
If you leave the state with the child, absent your ex’s agreement he could file an action for emergency custody to have the child returned to NC. The best course of action for you since you have a good relationship with your ex would be to execute a parenting agreement with him allowing you to move with the child. You could certainly execute this without an attorney. The parenting agreement must be notarized to be enforceable. Agreements are different than court orders and must be signed by the parties before a notary.