Q: What rights does a father have versus the rights of a mother if they were never married?
If an unwed couple having had four children together during the course of their relationship were to separate without either parent beginning any legal proceedings regarding the custody of said children, is it lawful for the mother- purely out of spite towards the father- to not only forbid any and all contact between the children and the father ( threats were made towards children, the father, family members, and close friends) but during this period of no contact the mother also moved the children to the other side of the country with nearly 5 months passing before the father found out? Part of the reason there wasn't ever any kind of custody case opened in the past was due to it never being an issue- there's even notarized documents of the voluntary child support he's paid her monthly for nearly 10 years now- until it came out that the mother had been cheating for the last couple years, causing the final split as well as the start of the completely hateful behavior.
A: In this scenario the Father should consider filing an action for allocation of parental responsibilities to set forth parenting time and child support. Absent a court order preventing a parent from relocating with a child, either parent may relocate with children. You will need to file the action in the children's' home state. Jurisdictional issues involving relocated children can be complicated so you should consult with a family law attorney.
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