Q: filed for rights in OH 2 days after kids mom moved to NC without my knowledge, does she have to show up to court here?
i filed for parental rights in OH 2 days after my children's mother moved to NC, but at the time i filed i had no knowledge of her moving out of state. the papers were served to a family member still living in her last known address and we got our court date. does she have to show up to court in Ohio? and will they make her move back?
A: Talk to your attorney about this. If you don't have an attorney, then consult an OH attorney and probably also a NC attorney. If you are not married to the mother, and if you have not established paternity, and if there are no custody orders, then the mother has sole custody of the children and can move with them anywhere she wants without telling anyone or getting permission from anyone. The service of your filing on a family member here in OH is probably not considered valid service on her - and so she would not have to come to any proceeding in OH, at least, not yet. You might have to go to NC to establish paternity and then take further legal action there. You might also have to start paying child support. Your attorney(s) would have to consider all the facts of your situation and advise you whether she or the kids might have to return - but ultimately, it will be up to the court(s) to decide.
A: If paternity had been established through a CSEA or court before your most recent filing for father's rights, have her served in NC as soon as possible. Personal service would be best. The NC courts ordinarily would not be able to assume jurisdiction over parental rights issues until the child has resided in that state for six months. I am guessing you do not have an attorney assisting you with this. Interstate parental rights cases can be thorny, so I would lawyer up and not waste any time doing it. This advice is offered under the assumption tat the mother and child resided in Ohio for at least six months.
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