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Custodial mother moved without orders, child is ordered to return; mother can't afford it

Your Question:
I have a six year old son. His father and I were never married,in fact his father left me when I found out I was pregnant and demanded i have and abortion. After filing with the attorney general, he was forced to come forward and I discovered that he had told his family he never knew I was pregnant. He is a patholigical liar, his family is wealthy and made my life very difficult. After 6 years of working 2 jobs, trying to put myself through school and the father off in the military visiting whenever it was convenient for him, I have married, have a 1yr old son and moved to my home state with my husband after he got a great job and we got a beautiful home. Now my son's father claimed he was moving home to Texas and tried to get a Temp. Rest. Order. It was denied but I was forced to come back for trial on custody. The Judge awarded me primary but has ordered I move back to TX. My husband and I are devastated. We cannot afford to move back,give up his job, or live apart. We feel we are being forced to give up my son. I am considering an appeal but I would still have to give my son up while waiting. Any advice you could offer would be appreciated.

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My Answer:

A family law judge cannot order an adult to move anywhere in the U.S., as such would be unconstitutional. I think you probably meant that the judge ordered the CHILD back to Texas.

I think there's more to the story than you've outlined. It would require unusual circumstances that a judge would order a parent to have majority timeshare (i.e., out of a child's best interest) yet essentially order that if the parent does not live in a certain place, it is no longer in the child's interest to live with that parent.

I wonder if perhaps you haven't been a saint for 6 years either. If a judge suspects that it's your intent (or history) to interfere with the father's long-distance relationship with the child, that would explain the judge's decision that the child must return to Texas.

At this time, the child has been ordered to return to Texas. If you allow the child to live primarily with the father, it's likely that such a situation would eventually become permanent.

If it's in the child's best interest to live primarily in your home, you need to find a way to legally make that happen.

If you have been a saint and altogether wonderful parent who's up against the evil father, then you need a better attorney and a better education into how family law works. Your situation is extremely unusual-- so if you've been perfect and cooperative-- your case has been ineffectively argued in court.

That's why I recommend books and recommend retaining attorneys who are very experienced in the local courts.

Move-aways are nasty creatures that often end up making problems for everyone, including the kids. Do your best to keep both parents in the same town. If you MUST move, it'd be wise to get a judge to approve it first.

Good luck.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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