Philadelphia, PA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania

Q: Can my son's father take him without my knowledge and leave state?

His father is not listed on the birth certificate but did sign an affidavit of paternity in court and pays child support. There is no court ordered custody agreement right now and I just allow him to go every other weekend but his dad is damnding more. He has warrants out for his arrest (and is hiding from them) and I know if I took him to court to get a custody order in place he would not show up. I'm afraid that one of these days he might take him and not being him back (he would go into hiding). Can he legally do that since there is no court order for custody? Please help!

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2 Lawyer Answers

Mr. Ryan L Hyde

  • Exton , PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Of course he can. He is just as much entitled to custody as you are at this stage of the game. That's the problem with not having court ordered custody to protect yourself and your kid. Conversely, you don't have to let him have custody either. Either of you can take the child as both of you have equal status. If you are truly concerned about him taking your child and leaving you should file for a custody order so that can't happen.

Rebecca A Myers

  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: It depends. If there is not a custody order in place and the two of you do not have a written custody agreement, then he is able to travel with your child just as you would be able to travel with your child without his permission (barring any federal rules regarding international travel that may affect your ability to do so. )

Typically, a custody order or agreement will address the partie' rights to travel with the children. Typically they include provisions that state how long a party may go out of town for a vacation, what information the have to proved to the other parent about their travel plans, and how much notice they must give t o the other side prior to travelling. You many want to pursue such an order or agreement through counsel.

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