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no court apointed custody...can I move out of state

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I'm a Pennsylvania resident and have ended a 5 year relationship with my 4 yr old daughters father.There has never been a formal custody arrangement through the court system but my daughter does live with me. He has 3 other children 2 of which he has never seen and 1 that he sees on occasion. He takes his daughter at his convenience stating he has no time because of work. He now lives with his new girlfriend and they take her son every weekend. I've been given the oppertunity to move to Tx to better our lives and start over. There's no support order but he threatens me saying I will never take his daughter from him.Can he stop me from leaving the state? I'm desperate for advice.



Hello. I live in Texas. If there is no court order, the parent who has possession of the child is in control. If you want to move to Texas, I suggest you move and then mail him a certified letter within (10) days of that move informing him of the relocation. Then have temporary custody papers filed ASAP!! If he is uninvolved with the child's life, odds are he will not fight and you'll get complete custody. However, at least he wilkl not be able to take the child. Also the Texas courts will be responsible for all proceedings since the child is here, and the origional papers are filed here.
On another note, I am a step-parent and a parent. I have seen both sides of the coin and please think about this: If he should decide he wants to be a productive part of the child's life, it will be healthy for all. Having a "split" family is 1000X easier when all parties are amiable and the child will grow up "healthier".
Good Luck


Senior Member
assuming that paternity was established and he is on the BC

you can leave and go to texas. i agree with wee - you need to send the notification and contact information, etc.

you will have to meet residency requirements before you can file any papers in texas. (usually 6 months - haven't checked TX guidelines) in the meantime, he will be able to file at anytime. if he does, you will be required to travel back and forth to the hearings and there is the possibility that a judge could make you return the child to PA.

it could boil down to moving back to PA with the child or losing custody of the child to the father.

now those are worse case scenerios, so don't get spoked. there are things that you have mentioned that are definitely going against him. the fact that he has 3 other children, 2 he has never seen. it would be difficult for him to explain that one to a judge.

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