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not married with two year old, can I move?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? MA

I have a two year old and we live with the dad. We are not married although we had lived like it for three years (two of it with our daughter) We have now been separated from our "relationship" since last November. He owns the house. He was all set for joint custody but now that he's told his father we are not going to stick together, his father wants him to have sole custody. When I ask him why he would be better for our daughter than I, he has no response. He is definitely hurt and being emotional about me leaving and trying whatever he can to get us to stay together, which is actually making us further apart. But, I have been told by many people that in the state of MA it is almost impossible for him to have sole custody because this state favors the mothers. I don't do drugs or drink, he just drinks, but I am on short-term disability at the moment for a life long disease (not life threatening yet) I have a job and am in the process of buying a condo, although it is in the same state it is about 45 minutes from where dad is.
Am I allowed to just move out with my daughter? I really don't want to bring this to court to have a judge decide. I would like to have it decided between us and then present it to the courts. I know that in his state of mind right now, that it won't be possible. I am also now concerned for my daughter's upbringing from him, if he'd rather put his problems with me above her welfare.
I'm not sure if anyone would know if I am allowed to move out with her or how bad that would look for me in court when the time comes. I am starting to get very tired of his belittling attitude towards me. Mental abuse is just not my thing anymore.
Please help if you can. Thank you very much.
Oh, and if anyone could tell me anything about changing her last name back to mine now or in the future....I would appreciate that also.What is the name of your state?


Senior Member
Did he sign an AOP when your daughter was born? Are there any court orders? If not, you can move, you are not moving that far away, BUT whether or not you have any visitation plans in force, you will need to try to maintain as much as possible thier relationship, you may have to provide the transportation since you created the distance. SO if he sees here everyday then you would want to try to keep things in place until you reach an agreement and file it with the courts. If you move and leave your child with dad, it will be more difficult to keep custody which you have until you reach an agreement and it is filed with the courts. THere are many forms of custody, not just sole custody the most common is joint legal custody and some sort of shared residential cusotdy and parenting or visitation time. Actually, going through the courts is the best way, normally the family courts have some sort of mediation available where you can attempt to work out your agreements and file them with the courts. How much time does dad spend with his daughter? Is your child in day care when you work? Are you able to buy a condo near where dad lives? THat will facilitate coparenting your child. YOu may also want to have language re right of first refusal for child care. What is the nature of your health problem? If you are eventually going to be on social security disability . You may want to retain a family law attorney.


Junior Member
I'm not sure if an AOP was signed although it seems most likely. We signed many papers at the hospital after she was born not to mention we had assumed we would be together to raise our child. She is in daycare daily. Right now we are practicing shared custody in the way of taking turns caring for her. I suggested this knowing that eventually we would be splitting and wanted our daughter to get used to having one parent at a time so that when the time came to relocate she wouldn't have so much to deal with being different than the norm. I am responsible for dropping her off at daycare everyday and picking her up everynight except Mon and Fridays, which dad does. He doesn't help me to make her ready in the mornings or make any adjustments to his schedule otherwise because of his work. I did want shared/joint custody before, but now that he's threatening taking sole custody, I now want that for myself. Just the fact that he would threaten it to hurt me without considering what it would do to her concerns me if he would keep her best interests in mind. Not too mention I now see the huge influence his father has over him which is extremely scary for me, because the man is one of the worst parenting figures I know.
We have not gotten any orders or court judgements as of yet. I can not at this time judge where her dad will be living as he is planning on selling his house in the near future. I am tired of waiting and holding my life in limbo while he decides. It is time for me to do what's best for myself and my daughter so I went ahead with finding a place to live. My only concern is that I want my daughter with me, but I don't want to move away with her if it will hurt my custody case that will happen in the near future.

What is right of first refusal for daycare?

I am also afraid of starting the proceedings as I don't want a judge to take his side because he'll end up looking like the victim when in actuality he's the one that wants the fight.


Senior Member
What is the nature of your disability? Was he aware of this when you planned to have your daughter?
You are best getting court orders established now and planning your move in the same community so you can maintain the status quo, that is in the best interest of your daughter, then if he moves, he creates the distance, not you. In some cases even though it is his house a judge might allow you to rent it from him especially if he is also planning on moving, if this is in th ebest interest of the child. Since you have already etablished a shared model for coparenting, it is more likley that the courts will continue that same model in their orders, if that is in the best interest of the child. With a shared parentig plan you need to establish whether it is 50/50 or something close to that with one parent being primary, this will also affect child support etc. A parenting plan can spell out many rules as to how the plan works including who can care for the child when the parent exercising custody needs to provide child care, such as on weekends etc. Have you consulted with an attorney, if not you might in the near future and get the paternity issue clarified and some court orders issued, before you plan to move. People are often confused with all the types of custody perhaps this link will help explain or even answer some of your questions. http://family-law.freeadvice.com/child_custody/

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