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Can I leave ny? No custody agreement. Court ordered CS. Never married. Abusive, alcoholic father MIA

Q: I'm the custodial parent of my 5 yo son. The father and I were never married. I separated from him due to alcoholism and abuse. After separation, he abandoned my son. He ignores calls and does not visit. There are no visitation or custody orders in place, and I was just recently I was granted court ordered child support. I am planning to move to PA next month. I petitioned for full custody, he was served, but did not show up to the hearing. It seems that he's being giving another chance, so I have another date approaching. I am afraid of him, and I do not know what he's capable of. My son is in therapy due to trauma and abandonment issues. I am worried that petitioning for custody is going to cause me to be unable to move, even though my son's father is absent. He has several children that he's abandoned. I've also witnessed him try to gain custody of a child that he had no contact with for 11 years. The child's mother passed away, and the child inherited a trust fund. He was denied due to being absent. I petitioned for custody in the event that I die before he reaches adulthood. I do not trust him, and I want protect my son's best interest.

A: If you did not request it in your initial petition, you should amend your petition to include a request to relocate with the child. Ultimately, if he doesn't expressly consent to your relocation, then you should get a court order allowing the relocation. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

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