My best friend is expecting a baby with a women who always claims she will just leave with their son to Illinois and not allow the father to see him. For no reason at all. Can she just up and leave to another state with this son?
Family Law Attorney
In WA, until the baby is born, potential fathers have no right to the baby. If the friend is concerned that the mother is leaving the state, the friend can file a petition with the WA court before the baby's birth and before the mother leaves WA. WA court will then continue to have the power to decide the issues relating to the baby even if the mother leaves WA before the birth.
See RCW 26.26.550 (Proceeding to adjudicate parentage — Before birth). The statutes are at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=26.26 .
Your friend should review the specific facts with his attorney to find out his legal options.
It is always very important for unmarried fathers to understand that they must take steps to establish "legal" paternity before they will have any parental rights. As such, I strongly recommend that your friend consult with a local attorney immediately to review the rights, options and obligations of all involved parties. You can find local attorneys by searching among the profiles here on Avvo. Good luck!
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