I'm a single mother of a one year old, his father is incarcerated for years. I obviously have full custody of my son, well i'm thinking about moving back to my home state which is Ohio, right now i'm currently living in Kentucky. My son's father and i do not get along an every letter he sends home is threatening an telling me he dont want my son around my family and sayin he'll have my son taken away. First of all, in order for my son to be taken they have to prove things and i dont do anything illegal nor do i have a record so i know that cant happen. If afraid if i move back home with him he will try and pull something or his mother will get involved and try to take him away from me. Do they have any say so on where i move to or take my son? We've never been to court for custody, he got locked up when i was three months pregnant and wasnt there for any of it. I filed child support on him and he requested DNA to be an ass so we got DNA done to prove he's the dad but other than that nothing has been seen in a court. My son's father is very mean and short tempered and has a drinking problem and i'd rather my son not be around that is there anything i can do about that once he gets out of prison??
If you have no record of anything that would convince a reasonable person that you're a danger to your child or unable to care for him, then the worst your ex's mother could do is win grandparent visitation. That wouldn't be as frequent as the every-other-weekend gig a noncustodial parent typically gets.
It would be wise for you (and best for your child) to try to separate out in your mind, the threats you perceive from your son's paternal grandmother. She is, after all, as much his grandmother as your own mom is. If she doesn't like you, it may be because her son (whom she loves as much as your mother loves you) has told her terrible things about you. Naturally, she wants to believe and sympathize with her son, as much as your parents want to believe and sympathize with you.
So, how much of her being nasty to you is really your ex's fault, for bad-mouthing you to her; and how much of it is his mother actually being a terrible person? In other words, is she truly such a terrible person that it's in your son's best interest to have no relationship with her, even though she's his flesh and blood? Or is the main problem that it's hard to conceive of your child having a relationship with someone who hates you...even though she may be capable of loving your son (her grandbaby) and being good to him?
If she's not a danger to your son (she just doesn't like you), then you might do better to offer her some sort of access to him - that you control - instead of making her think the only way she can ever see her grandson is to take you to court and either sue for court-ordered visitation or foolishly try to accuse you of ugly things in hopes of getting custody.
You might contact her (perhaps in writing) and say something like, "I know you don't like me and you won't like everything I have to say. But I recognize that you're Johnny's grandmother, so I want to try to be fair. I have moved home to Ohio. You've been in my shoes before, with a baby to raise. I'm sure you can understand that, without the support of my baby's father, I really need my family right now. It's not like I've moved across the country. If we can agree on a day and time, then once a month (or every six weeks...whatever you think you can do) I will meet you at some halfway point between our homes. You can have Johnny for the afternoon, take him to the park or whatever. If we can do this civilly, then when Johnny's older, we can talk about you taking him back to your house for a weekend, every so often. If you can't be civil, then this won't work. It's not healthy for Johnny to be exposed to fighting or threats, or to have people say ugly things to him, about his mommy. Please rest assured that I do not tell him ugly things about his father or you."
As far as your ex, it sounds like you have little reason to worry about him getting custody. Once he's out of jail, if you think your son should not see him without supervision, you need to carefully document everything you think justifies that. Start now, not when he gets out of jail. Print out any threatening messages he sends to you. Do not take phone calls from him. Ever. Make him put in writing anything he wants to say to you.
You make your ex sound like a monster, but for whatever reason, he is your son's father. People serve time for things that don't necessarily make them a danger to their children. People say ugly things - that they don't always mean - when they break up with someone, and when they feel powerless. (He may talk as though he has power over you. But the truth is, you are free and have complete control over his son. You have all the power right now and he knows it.) The fact that he's in jail and the fact that he's said things to you in anger will not necessarily convince a judge he should have no contact with his child. It takes a lot to involuntarily terminate someone's parental rights - and rightly so. It should not be easy for your ex's mother to terminate your parental rights, just because she might like to. And it should not be easy for you to terminate your ex's. If you truly believe there should be no contact, be even more diligent about documenting everything.
You need to cover your tracks, legally.
#1- Consult an attorney (if you can't afford one, see if you qualify for Legal Aid) to make sure that whatever legal steps you've already taken (establishing paternity and child support) don't place you under any sort of restriction, in terms of moving. By federal law, unless you're a felon, you have the right to move wherever you want. But, to move your child with you, you may be required to file official notice of your intent to relocate and there may be a mandatory waiting period. Your ex might be allowed to object. But the fact that he's in jail, your son's only one, and you want to move to be closer to your family will almost certainly make a judge overrule his objection and let your son move out of state with you.
#2- If you are NOT required to take any legal action in Kentucky, to move your son out of state, then move BEFORE you do anything else. Move before you discuss it with your ex's mother. Establish residency where you want to live. Then if your ex or his mother decide to take you to court, they will have to file in the state where the child resides. (If you move, jurisdiction of your son's custody and child support will eventually be transferred to Ohio, but it might take six months or a year.)
#3- Read the laws for yourself. Know what your rights and obligations are, for sure. Don't rely on anyone else to interpret them for you. They're all available online.