I live in Florida and my husband and I separated 6 months ago. We have one minor child who lives with me and my parents in the same house and spends time with his father two days every week (about 75% of the day, he sleeps with me). This arrangement is through our own agreement, no court filings have taken place at this time although we have discussed divorce on a few occasions. I have a sister who lives out of state and she has found better jobs for me and my father. She also found a school for my son that is better than the schools here in Florida (he will be old enough for Kindergarten this fall). My husband does not want to move but I do. Can I legally move out of state with my son, father, and mother in order for us to improve our lives, even if my husband objects? I have asked him to come with us and he refuses. He has no reason to refuse since his job is a temp min wage job and he has no family in this area. He has two daughters from a previous marriage that live 4 hours away, but he never tries to see them so he has essentially abandoned them. I don't think it's fair that he can stop me from living a better life but I am afraid that he will lie and say I kidnapped our son.
since there is no court order, you could move and he can not claim you kidnapped his son. However, you should probably expect him to file for dissolution of marriage and ask the court for you to return the child if you do the move against his wishes. You should retain counsel to work out a pre-filing agreement with him allowing the move.
No, you cannot move out of the State with your son without the agreement of his father. Put yourself in his shoes, would it be fair for the father to leave the state with your son without your agreement. The issue of relocation will need to be addressed in the divorce. If you leave the state without the consent of the father and without the approval of the court, you can be forced to return to Florida or lose custody of your son.
If you are going to divorce, then you need to move forward with the divorce and discuss your wish to move with the father to see if you can come to an a agreement. If you cannot come to an agreement, then the court will make important decisions, such as where your son will spend the majority of his time with, a timesharing plan and child support.
I also highly recommend that you at least consult with a local attorney to discuss the other issues that will need to be addressed such as division of property, etc.
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Mr. Feuerstein is correct. You need to comply with Section 61.13001 of the Florida Statutes to properly relocate with the child. You should consult with and retain an experienced family law attorney to assist you with the issue.
Technically, you can move and you would not be guilty of any crime, such as kidnapping. However, if you do move without his consent and he files a legal action against you, ultimately the court could order the child back to Florida and your moving against his wishes and not complying with the relocation statute could possibly be held against you if there was a "custody" battle. Of course, if you move without his consent and he does nothing for an extended period of time (such as 6 months or more), then there would be an argument of "implied consent" due to his failure to try to do anything to bring the child back. Either way though, no, you would not be guilty of kidnapping your son.
Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements.
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