My ex-wife has filed a motion in District Court to remove my minor daughter (17) from our home state and move to another state where my daughter will be attending college next fall. I "failed to answer or otherwise plead" and I have been provided with a hearing date for the motion for default judgement. I did not respond to the initial motion because I have been told that due to my daughter's age and because she is and her mother are moving to the same state where she will attend college that I had very little chance on winning/keeping my daughter in our home state. I have already spent 1000s of dollars on the divorce and I did not see any benefit in spending even more to fight a battle that in all likelihood I could not and would not win. I currently hold joint legal custody of my daughter but she lives exclusively with her mother.
A custodial parent must petition the Court to remove the minor child from the state regardless of whether or not the non-custodial parent agrees or disagrees. Assuming that the move will impact your parent-child relationship and/or your parenting time, you should most certainly appear at the hearing and at least share with the Judge whether or not you object to the move (and why, of course). It's likely that any visitation/parenting plan may need adjustment if the Judge does approve the relocation; and you should be there to inform the Judge of what may or may not work in that regard. Standing up for your own rights and being heard is never a waste of time or effort -- it's your right, and, quite frankly, if you have joint legal custody, this is a decision and process you should be actively participating in.
If you don't show up or file an answer, your ex will likely be given everything she asks for at the hearing. You may want to file a motion for leave to file an answer out of time so that the court won't enter a default order against you. You will also want to show up at the hearing. It may also be helpful to see if the other side will provide you a copy of their proposed order prior to the hearing. You may be able to review such and if it is agreeable with you, stipulate to the order instead of not knowing what may be ordered against you at the hearing. I would suggest contacting an attorney to make sure your rights are protected in this matter. It is cheaper to hire an attorney to make sure nothing funny goes on then to try to fix it after the fact.
Although I am an attorney practicing law in Nebraska, the answer I provide is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney who will discuss with you the specific facts of your case.
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