Legal Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 07-29-2010, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if this belongs here or in single parents, but I'll post here.

Background: S is my niece, she is 25. She has a four (almost five) year old son C. Father is her ex-boyfriend K. S's mom G lives in California (every one else is in Illinois.) My mother J raised S from the age of three onward (G was a drug addict and lost custody. S lived with J and eventually her father. G is now clean.)

Present: S has been asking to move in with J for the past few months. J keeps saying no. S threatens to move in with G and J will never see C again (who she has helped raise since birth). She doesn't, the cycle continues. She announced yesterday to J that she is moving to California at the end of August. It's all been planned out everything.

C doesn't know. K doesn't know. No one else in the family knows except for J and I. If S leaves the state with her son without informing his father, what will happen? Does grandma have any rights here?

K and S were never married, but only separated a year ago. There is no child support or agreement with custody. K is a good dad.

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#2 of 5 Old 07-29-2010, 10:08 PM
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Well...I generally say that anyone not supporting their child is not a great parent. Aside from that, if your mother fears that your niece (it would be a lot easier to understand without the alphabet) is leaving out of spite and niece's son is being raised poorly then I would be tempted to tell the father so he can file something to stop the move.
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#3 of 5 Old 07-29-2010, 10:39 PM
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Well... unless Dad has established paternity, he has no say until he does so. So Mom can move with her child any time she wants, anywhere she wants. Dad needs to establish paternity, etc.

Your mother may have no standing whatsoever to file for anything.
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#4 of 5 Old 07-30-2010, 09:03 AM
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Your mother definitely has no standing, because she is the great-aunt, not the grandma, if I follow your story correctly.

I'm sorry that your mom is upset, and understand that she may not think the move is in the child's best interests, but I fail to see how anything would be improved if she were to drag the non-support-paying exbf into it, in an attempt to what? Sue for custody? Get ahold of C and give him back to his great-aunt to raise? Not likely.

Your cousin may be a total jerk to manipulate your mom like this, but unless there is an existing custody order, she has the right to move with her child wherever she wishes. You are also have the right, as a member of the human race, to tell K that she's planning to leave - but I don't know that you would get the result you're hoping for. Are you even positive he's the biofather? Is he on the birth certificate?
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#5 of 5 Old 08-01-2010, 08:15 PM
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You need to do the right thing and tell K, so he can take legal steps to protect his parental rights before she leaves. The outcome will be different if she has already moved when he files for formal visitation, because there will be a different "status quo". Understand - he can't stop her from moving. But the extent of his visitation rights may be different if he waits. Also, if he establishes his parental rights before she moves, he should at least have the legal option to ask that the child remain here, in his custody. It's unlikely that would happen, with a child so young, unless there are serious issues with the mother. But that is impossible, if he waits until she has already moved.

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