Legal Question in Family Law in Minnesota

I live in minnesota and I have a 3 year old daughter. I wasn't married. I am separated from my boyfriend(her dad) for almost two years. We both work and child support was never the issue. None of us have legal custody over our daughter, we were sharing custody and now I wanted to leave the State of MN and move to Virginia.

1. Can I legaly move without the dads permission.

2. Can I persue full legal custody in Virginia.

Asked on 1/09/10, 4:22 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Chris Sullivan Sullivan Law Office, PLLC

In MN, in a situation where the parent's of the child(ren) were never married to each other, and there is no court order granting parenting time/custody, the Mother is the presumed legal and physical custodian of the child(ren).

Even if the Father is on the birth certificate or signed a Recognition of Parentage (ROP), he is not entitled by law to any rights of custody/parenting time.

So, the answer to #1 is Yes - you do not need his permission. But, it may have ramifications your desire to pursue full custody in VA. Since you have "full" custody here in MN for now, you MAY not have to pursue anything in VA. I don't practice in VA, so I can't answer how they handle custody.

On the flip side, if the Father wants to stop your move, he would need to file a custody/parenting time motion, Once the Father is granted any portion of parenting time, a move out of state will require either his permission or a court order granting the move.

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Answered on 1/14/10, 6:38 am
Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

In Minnesota, if the court has never established custody or parenting time, and the parties were not married, the father has no "enforceable" rights. That means he cannot seek to enforce a schedule until there is a court order. That does not mean he has no rights.

If you try to relocate out of state with the child without some agreement or parenting schedule, it is very likely the father will commence an action to determine custody and parenting time, and, as part of that proceeding, seek to have the child returned to his care in this state. If you shared parenting time up to this point, that may be very likely and you could be harming your chances in the custody proceeding.

For a consultation call 612.240.8005 or visit

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Answered on 1/14/10, 10:53 am

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