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With an abusive, controlling ex, is it in my newborn's best interest to move away before birth?

Saint Paul, MN |

I am pregnant due in November. The father was abusive while we were together, I managed to finally move out a few months ago. He is threatening for full custody (unless I get back together with him) I want him to have supervised visitation. I have character witnesses, including my prenatal nurse, but I don't have any physical evidence (police were called once but no report was filed, no hospitalizations). He threatened to 'kill the child when it was born' several times, and I fear for the baby. He currently lives 30 miles away. My parents live 4 hours away and think I should move home to put distance between us, but I have an apartment and a job here. I would become unemployed and still have to pay rent. Do I have a case if I stay here or should I move to protect my child? would it help?

Attorney Answers 3


This is an extremely complex matter that cannot be adequately answered here. I suggest you schedule a FREE consultation with an attorney, and retain counsel as soon as possible. These are complicated strategic moves that need to be considered in detail.

Sara Rojas

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Nothing about him would change if you moved back in. Sounds like he's a control freak. I know the answer in Ohio but states vary. Speak with a local attorney BEFORE the child is born.

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Unless you're married, your ex will need to bring a petition to establish custody of your child. This means that while he may be entitled to custodial rights to your child, he does not have rights until a court establishes them.

From a legal standpoint, there may be a strategic advantage to living 4 hours away and making it harder for the father to have parenting time. This would be an argument to make if/when he moves to establish custody. It is up to you whether or not to move. At the very least, I recommend that you begin keeping a journal of any threatening behavior, texts, emails, and voicemails. These things will help you if/when he tries to obtain custody.

Drake Metzger
Metzger Law Firm, LLC

Nothing in this response constitutes legal advice. Metzger Law Firm, LLC does not represent you nor has Metzger Law Firm, LLC entered into an attorney-client relationship with you.

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Stephanie Erin Story

Stephanie Erin Story


There is usually an option for you to stipulate to the paternity of your child, but you are not obligated to do so. In other words, you can force him to file his paternity motion, which would lead to a paternity test before any further action could be taken by him. It also sounds as if you are in need of some type of restraining order, which you should by all means seek legal counsel for. Good luck!

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