This would depend upon the wording of your Judgment of Divorce / separation agreement.
Chances are that if the father is not involved, then he is less likely to fight you in court, but it is never advised to do something contrary to the terms of your Judgment. I recommend speaking with an attorney on this and bringing all papers with you for review.
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I think it is safe to assume that your ex has the right to some level of visitation (although he may not be exercising it). It is never the right thing to do to just ignore the court's order. You should go back to court to ask for permission to relocate. It requires that you serve papers on the father. He may choose to contest it, or he may not. Nonetheless, if he has not visited for a long time, you can make the case that he will not be prejudiced by your relocation. Be prepared to offer an alternative schedule of visitation that is reasonable and will not completely deprive the father of ability to see the child .
I completed a relocation case recently, where the mother was allowed to relocate to Pennsylvania with the offer that she would transport the child to New York on alternate weekends for the father to visit. That was more visitation than he had previously been exercising. If, in your case, the father has not visited with the child in over a year, the court might not now accept that he wants to see the child on a bi-weekly basis. Summer and Holiday visits may suffice.
You should definitely seek the advice of an attorney.
The divorce probably had some provision, which may or may not have been waived under its terms, for visitation. If they were waived, you could move and he would have a hard time arguing he has visitation rights anymore. If he was given rights but never exercised them, your seeking a relocation hearing is really to eliminate the visitation right hanging over your head. See if he will agree in a writing drafted by your attorney to the move despite the loss of any future visitation or minimal visitation. That would solve things nicely.
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Depends on the wording of the agreement or order. Speak with your divorce lawyer and review the paperwork.
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