I want to move with my child.. Can i still leave? Since technically the judge hasnt ordered this. I have also filed a petition for custody and i am waiting on a court date, I live with my BF so if im still there by the court date given to me my petition will be dismissed. What are my options?? Please HELP!! I
Elder Law Attorney
If the Order to Show Cause portion of the Petition you were served with, which is signed by the Judge, has an ORDERED paragraph stating that the child cannot be removed from Suffolk County, then as this is an immediate temporary restraint ordered by the court, you cannot remove the child from the county absent a written and duly executed and acknowledged document signed by both parents of the child or approval of the court.
Typically relocation to another state requires an agreement between the parents or specific court approval. Is there already a custody order, perhaps from a prior divorce action? If so, and there is an order or stipulation, then this may clear up the issue on relocation, particularly if you are only looking to move locally. Sometimes agreements may contain language on relocation parameters, such as permissible distance of the move.
Despite where you are living currently, you will need to show up in court on the appearance date for both petitions, or else you risk having your petition dismissed and being defaulted on the other petition with which you were already served.
FYI since this is a custody matter, your current BF may be an issue raised during the proceedings.
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Family Law Attorney
Attorney Gulino has given you good, detailed advice. I agree. Please be careful about taking "advice" from the court clerks--it is very easy for a misunderstanding to complicate matters, and the clerks have no duty or authority to give you correct information. I would strongly discourage you from leaving the county even if you think the judge hasn't yet "ordered" you to stay. Now that you are on notice there is a pending dispute, the court may treat you harshly if you leave under the current circumstances. At the very least, consult with a local attorney to review all your rights, options and obligations before you take any further action. Sometimes a telephone consult will be enough to get started. You can find attorneys in your area by searching among the profiles here on AVVO. Good luck!
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