Q: Can a parent relocate without the other parents agreement?
Live in Phoenix AZ and would like to relocate to Green Bay WI to be with family with my 3 month old. Can I relocate without the fathers permission? We have never been married nor separated, are only dating and each file as single.
This is an extremely complicated situation. Have you discussed the situation with the child's father? Your life will be much less likely to implode if you discuss the situation with him and have a written agreement allowing you to relocate. I HIGHLY recommend that if you are allowed to relocate that you file an action in Wisconsin six months and one day after the children take up residence there to obtain a court order for child custody. I have seen too many situations where individuals coast along for years with no written agreement or court order and then have issues. It is better to have something in writing to fall back on and modify than to have to start from scratch when the children are toddlers or school age.
Your biggest potential issue is if you move without the father's consent, he could file an action in Arizona and the Court could order you to return to Arizona with the children. Even if you eventually got permission to relocate, you could be forced to return and remain in Arizona for the duration of the court proceedings which could stretch on for many months / several years. So if you can get written permission to relocate with a plan for how often the father will get to see the child, get it. If not, you have to do what you believe is right for your child, but you conceived and birthed the child in Arizona with an Arizona resident. Absent a written agreement, there is significant risk that the Arizona courts would exercise jurisdiction over your child and could retain that jurisdiction until the father leaves the state.
UCCJEA cases are incredibly complex. Most judges do not even get the law right when it comes to intrajurisdictional cases. You really need the guidance of a good family law attorney. If you cannot afford one, hopefully the advice here will point you in the direction of not having a legal catastrophe in your life and your child's life.
There's a case on point. The facts of which almost mirror yours. Father and Mother were never married. When the child was two months old, the mother moved to Wisconsin. The Court in Arizona ordered her to return, saying she needed the father's permission. See Gutierrez v. Fox, 394 P.3d 1096, 242 Ariz. 259 ¶¶ 41-49 (App. 2017),
What that means for you is that you need his permission.
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