What steps do I need to take to legally move out of state with my child? My husband has received military orders for us to relocate and I have to start the process soon. Her father and I were never married and have never done anything about custody. He is an addict and is frequently incarcerated. He has never supported her financially, has not had a job since she was an infant(she's 7 now) and has no permanent residence. She speaks to him on occasion but has not seen him in 2 years.
You are in a tricky situation. If you start Court action now, it is easy for the biological dad to ask for an Order stating he gets visitation, and then you have to ask for drug testing and the whole thing goes on for a while, and the Court could eventually order the child to remain in New Mexico. You would have a good case to allow relocation, because of the non-payment of support and the supporting person's (your husband) new orders, but it is a risk.
Is the biological dad on the birth certificate, probably meaning he signed an acknowledgement of paternity at the hospital when your daughter was born? If so, his case for forcing you to stay would be stronger, because this issue is resolved already.
The only state that should be rendering an INITIAL custody determination for your daughter, outside of emergencies, is the state she has resided for the last 6 months. One option for you is to move, allow the phone contact, and then see what biological dad does. If he doesn't file in six months time, then you file in your new state immediately after six months. If biological dad truly is an addict, he probably won't do anything in the six months you are waiting. Another likely outcome of any case is that he is ordered to pay child support, which is a disincentive for biological dad to file.
Another risky option is asking biological dad to sign off on paperwork allowing the move. If you ask, then he knows you are moving and he could start something. A judge would also need to sign off on the agreement too, and there are statutory requirements, like a child support worksheet that need to be included. Good luck.
I am only offering informational advice, and your situation likely has factors that need to be considered in giving you proper legal guidance. Until we have discussed your case, and we have executed a representation agreement, I am not your lawyer and all information I am providing is for educational use only.
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