I have joint legal custody of my daughter. Ex is military. I try to keep open lines of communication and visits across states since I am in one state and he relocates often. I want to remarry and relocate to Canada w/my daughter. My fiancee has a job, will sponsor us, and we will be close to inlaws. My ex will not even consider it and I wanted to avoid going to court unless need be since he is known to drag things out. I want to keep lines open for talk and visits as well but because of his duty station, she goes 2 years without seeing him. He calls once every few months and I have no number to reach him should she wish to speak to him. I could not fight for sole custody because I ran out of funds, hence he got what he wanted while I settled.
Family Law Attorney
Even if you had sole custody, this does not mean you would have the right to move to Canada without the father's or the court's permission. If he will not consent, you will have no choice but to file a court action seeking permission for the move. If he makes little effort to regularly see your daughter, that will help you obtain permission to relocate as relocations are generally denied as they interfere with visitation. Since your move would not change his visitation as he is not exercising any, you have a good chance of being successful in court.
2 lawyers agree
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Depends on the wording of the agreement. Take it to a local lawyer to review. You can still file to relocate or to modify to request sole custody. If the father does not see the child often, then it is easier to win a relocation case. Each case depends on the particular facts and details. Write up a chronological summary of the visitation and custody details and bring it to the lawyer you consult with.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Generally, a custodial parent will not be permitted to relocate without consent of the non-custodial parent unless it serves the best interest of the child, especially if it impairs the non-custodial parent's ability to have meaningful visitation/parenting child with the child. Also, prior written agreements between the parties are heavily weighted by the courts and will not be disturbed simply because one party is unhappy with the deal that he or she made.
Having said that, your situation is somewhat different in that your child's father does not seem to be exercising regular visitation with her or involved in her life to anything but a minimal extent.
I think you should speak with a local attorney so that you can get information tailored to your situation.
Wendy A. Keegan, Esq.