Lawrenceville, GA asked in Family Law for Georgia

Q: Is there a time limit for filing contempt for custodial parent moving out of state (from GA to TX) with my child?

In 2019 my ex moved to TX with my child without my knowledge and without informing the court. Since then, it has been very difficult for me to see my child. I have to pay all expenses and fly child back and forth (3 round trip tickets). Finally, ex agreed for my child to fly as an unaccompanied minor but only on an airline the ex approves of. So I agreed to the airline (significantly higher price and fees) and asked for the information that the airline requires (ID must match address I provide for the parent checking the minor in) and I was sent an address in GA when they live in TX. When I questioned this, I was told to just do it and stop being difficult. I asked for a picture of my ex’s ID that would be used for checkin and pickup and was told to forget the entire thing. What do I do? Where do I file? What do I file?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Regina Irene Edwards
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Answered
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: You don't need a contempt - you need a modification of your parenting plan. If the custody case was finalized in Georgia, and you still live here, you can file a modification in Georgia.

Alake Colwell Furlow
Alake Colwell Furlow
Answered
  • Dacula, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: You wrote ex multiple times so I am unsure from this post if you are the mother or the father. I am also unsure if there was a court order stating that the custodial parent could not move or that the custodial parent had to provide notice of intent to relocate prior to moving. If the custodial parent was suppose to provide notice and did not, then they are in contempt of court. However, it doesn't sound like a contempt action is what you need to file. It appears that you may need to either legitimize, if you are the father and have not done so already, or if you have a court order, file to modify that order. Because it sounds like any previous order you may have had did not contemplate travel between states, airline travel, etc. I would suggest you speak with an attorney and let them know whether you're the mother or father, whether you're the custodial or non-custodial parent, and whether there is a court order for you and the other parent regarding custody & visitation. Then you can get definitive answers to your next steps.

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