Can the father take the child away if not married

Mechelle - posted on 10/24/2012 ( 64 moms have responded )

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I need some help I left my child father about a month ago we were never married I left cause of the verbal abuse but he will deny it we left state can he come after us an take me to jail or court to try an take the child back

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Albert - posted on 08/01/2016

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I need help please , my girlfriend baby daddy took her daughter away and won't let her see her or talk to her on the phone at all. There not married. They had verbal agreement that she would have her the weekdays and him the weekend . He's taking her to court for custody this wensday . He's saying that his daughter is better and safer with him . Anything she cans do now ? We called the cops but they won't do anything cause there's no court order .

Threenorns - posted on 10/24/2012

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both parents have equal rights to the child unless there is a court order granting custody. without that court order, you are still together as far as the law is concerned. it's not "your" baby (singular) - you didn't spontaneously get pregnant with your clone. it's yours and his baby.

Jaja - posted on 12/04/2014

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hi, i am facing the same thing. The verbal abuse was too much so i left my childs father when my child was 2 months old. After 5 months, he starts asking for his child.
I dont feel good when we met. and finally i told him to forget his son... so far he has not bothered me, but i am scared too.

Heather - posted on 12/07/2012

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Some of the information on here is great, but I want to point out something that some of the ladies keep missing... the automatic unoffical Custody status of a child born from UN Married parents is not the same as that from two parents who were married.



Also, it is NOT hard for a mother to lose sole custody of her child, even when she was single, has always provided for the child alone, and is supermom. The belief that courts will favor the mother is WRONG. This misconception is very dangerous for moms and children. Father's rights groups have lobbied hard for an equal 50/50 split of both physical and legal custody. They are suceeding. Of course, if the father is a reasonable and caring person, he would not be trying to remove a child from the mother unless she were unfit. Abusers are far from reasonable. They follow a predictible patten in court actions: Step 1: Get joint custody Step 2: Petition to reduce any child support Step 3: Reduce or eliminate the mother from the child's life.

Sarah - posted on 12/10/2012

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It don't matter who lives in what state. If he wants to file for custody and does, he can and he can get at the very least joint custody. You two having never been married doesn't matter. However, if he did not sign the birth certificate, it could cause him problems. Mainly he would have to pay for the state to do a paternity test, which could be pricey. If he did sign the birth certificate then he has every legal right to that child as you do no matter where you live at. Like someone said before, if he files first you could be forced to travel to his state for court dates at your expense. If you file first, he will more then likely be forced to come to your state at his expense. Once a court decides on how custody will be arranged, then you both may have to cover the expenses of half of your child's travel during visitations. Now in some extreme cases, like one person said, she can't even move out of certain mile radius without the dad's permission. I don't know for sure if any states have that as a law; that the parents have to stay in close vicinity of one another, but I have heard of it when one or both parents are afraid of the other not complying with court orders and allowing them to see their child.



Since you know that he is the daddy of your child and if he did sign the birth certificate, then I would go and file first. Go to your local clerks office and tell them that you have separated from the father and have moved and want to get all the custody, child support, and visitation issues ironed out now that you are settled. They should be able to tell you where to file, how much it will cost to file, and which paperwork to fill out and file. If money is tight, then make sure you file first so you are not the one traveling. Good luck.

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Michele - posted on 04/20/2017

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Hi. I'm not sure where to begin. I was with my son's dad for 10 years and went through alot of verbal abuse. This then escalated to physical. The first of him trying to strangle me and the second was him putting a gun to my chest with my son in the room. I ran and he was arrested. While he was locked up I ran and left state. It has now been a few months and he is currently out (he pled guilty to a silly lesser charge) but is out on bail for violating his probation. Through this I have since learned this man has a history of very violent behaviors and I am scared to death. We are states apart and he has no idea where we are but I need help in what steps I can take to keep me from getting into trouble for taking our son out of state or more importantly that I won't have to take our son back. I have to do things like get a new drivers license in this new state but doesn't that make it even easier for him to find me? This man has put so much fear into me and I cry when our son says he doesn't want to talk to his dad cuz he dies n says bad things to me. I hate that our son has to know this. I tried to shelter him. How can I support my son with this comment but not feed his thoughts in case anyone needs to talk to him with this situation? If I go back there is no doubt he will kill me so please what are my other options? How can I keep him from finding me with having to do things like a driver's license and registering my car? I'm afraid if him yes but I'm more afraid if having to take our son back to that situation. Please help me figure out what steps to take. Also, I finally had to change my phone # after his really nasty msgs but now he is emailing my family/friends on FB saying horrible things (they are blocked where he can't see but he is finding the info somehow). . . How can I make it stop? Any help or advice would be so helpful. Thank you.

Trob091871 - posted on 04/09/2017

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I need help so I let my son go to school from his fathers house but now he will not allow me to see him nor talk to him.What can I do to get my son back

Chantelle - posted on 01/17/2015

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My name is. Chantelle I am 14 weeks pregnant I was with a man for two years We moved to another town so I was away from my family and friends and thats when he began hitting me. Locking me into the appartment and mentally torturing me He put a knife to my troat and threated to kill me so I left him I went to the guards and made a statement but they haven't gotten back to me and now the father wants to be in the childs life I told him I cheated but he doesnt beleive me and im so worried Please give me advice in what to do I want to protect my unborn baby in anyway I can when he or she is born He treated to kill me even when he know I was pregnant

Destineestarr - posted on 09/29/2013

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My husband signed the birthcertificate on his baby but because the mother didnt sign off on certificate they took him off. The mom and him went and got all of it fixed and they placed her in dhs custody anyway. The mother tested positive for meth. He is on the birth certificate now and signed the affidavit of paternity. But they are making us go to court to see if we can have her and if she stays in custody.

Laurie - posted on 12/08/2012

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Thats hard to say.... I would just write all you can down that you remember, at least give the month it happened as far back as you can remember. And get a lawyer. Send him custody papers. I know its going to be hard. Ive gone through it. But I waited too long, and got court papers and my sons "dad" said I was nutso and Im not... I lost my son cause I couldnt get a lawyer in time. Do it while you can!!!!! Hes obviously better suited for you. (Good job for leaving when you did.) :)

Beth - posted on 12/07/2012

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We live this situation. The mother of my hubby's kids took the kids and moved. Court ordered us 6 weeks summer visitation and 1 week Cmas visit. Travel costs are split. It is very hard for a father to get custody unless the mothers unfit. Which is also hard to prove. Usually they will not do joint custody bc it's two separate states. But will likely do joint LEGAL custody. They usually do court wherever this situation started. They will also set up that u have sole custody and set child support/daycare payments for him. You need to get you having custody established or he can just take the child and isn't obligated to return. In return u aren't obligated to give him visitation until its set up through court. But safer to set it in stone. You are also best off to get established wherever u want to be before filing. To show stability. And for your safety, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING!! Even if its just tape recorded. (Can't use in court unless he know u are recording or contradicts a statement he makes on the tape in court) Dates called, dates he visits, money he pays etc.

Julie - posted on 11/30/2012

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Personally I think you need to talk to the authorities and let them know the situation, speak to a lawyer and get some legal advice on that . Because without letting the right people know what is going on would not work in your favor , but documentation of things always works best . if you are taking a child away from a parent without the parent not knowing is kidnapping whether you believe it or not .. So file for some kind of custody please .

Nona M - posted on 11/27/2012

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U need to immediely file for Custody...in both states. U will probably need to file for divorce too. Depending on the state whereU lived, some states recognize a couple as married if they lived together for 90 days...U really need to get the advice of a lawyer. U don't want to depend on advice from people who don't know what they are talking about. Best of Luck! Oh yeah, one more thing....U go Sister, way to stand up for yourself, it takes a strong lady to walk away from a bad situation, and an even stronger woman to protect your kids from that abuse. Stau strong!

Ashley - posted on 11/27/2012

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Well my ex and I were never married but most judges in todays society are giving 50/50 custody if you can not prove that he is an unfit father, if he is an unfit father then you would get sole custody or full or whatever it is that you would get andhe could have visits with you or someone there or maybe not see his child at all if hes really unfit. But My ex and i share 50/50 and he gives me child support as well we have a mutual agreement which we are going to get in writing soon. I know I was told unless there is a good reason such as a job promotion or something you can relocate but other then that if there is not a good reason to move and your moving just to move then they most likey will not grant it thats just what I heard. Everyone state is different on regulations IDK.

Patricia - posted on 11/19/2012

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Anything is possible, Go on line in the state where he lives look in the public records and see if he has anything file on you. Best thing you need to so is make a list: If you want the kids to be with him make a visitation list. When and where you will drop/pick them off. What time. Know where he will be get phone numbers from him and his mother.

Theresa - posted on 11/19/2012

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My son's father was abusive, I had him arrested when I was pregnant and the courts ENCOURAGED me to take my child and flee. If you weren't married, it's not illegal to skip states with your child. I was told that he could file something in the court system to try to get me to come back for a custody hearing, but if he didn't know where I was then it would be no issue. But you need to question if this is what's best for your child? A father is INCREDIBLY important in a child's life. Obviously you two had your issues and he didn't treat you right, but was he a good father? My children's dad was a TERRIBLE husband, but he was good with our boys for the most part. I understand you're probably very angry with him, and hurt, and as a woman it's our natural response to be spiteful and maybe want our exes to get hit by a truck. :) But like I said, unless the father is abusive toward the child, it's really unfair to use your baby to get back at him. Take some time in this new home you're building. Take a few months to yourself, let yourself get over the anger and resentment, turn your phone off or change your number, and just let yourself cool down. And then revisit the situation and decide what's best for your baby when you're not angry anymore. Best of luck.

Marilyn - posted on 11/19/2012

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If I give a weekend visitation to the father can he keep him from me? And His mom lives in another state where the baby would be taken would be crossing state lines. We have not filed anything and have no parenting plan in effect. Please help I dont know what to do.

Patricia - posted on 11/18/2012

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yes he can, but not if you go to the court first and file the papers. Whom ever files first gets the upper hand..

Teresa - posted on 11/18/2012

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if the father is on the birth certificate and he wants to fight, he can.did you ever make any police reports?call a women shelter and ask them how to do all this to never let the baby daddy see him.also be careful about the grandparents.hope this counts but my daughter did the same thing.

Jessica - posted on 11/12/2012

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The way that things are today I think so. I do not think that the mother can just take off with the kid with out a fight.

Leigh - posted on 11/11/2012

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If he can think up a concern about you, even if he lies, it will warrant investigation, and his lawyer can get the child to him by him keeping the child upon visitation, or by pickup at a daycare or school. The child is usually (depends on culture of state) given back to the mother. Just watch later that if the child is turned against you, and the child becomes behaviourally like him, not to try to discipline your child out of shock, or they will get the upperhand of the child over you. The child will later question you, and them, as to why all this happened to me, what did my parents do? Which one, or both is to blame. This will come up as young as beginning primary school. If your son is uplifted, the way it is done, and the process of the wait, causes the child to become insecure, from seperation anxiety. Signs are following you around and not wanting to seperate. Be careful that you, yourself dont get mentally bullied and suicidal. If you can understand your child and not be firm in discipline, then the child wont fight you back or get into smoking and drugs, with similar children.

Look at it this way, unless we are upper class, and even then some are nice and some not, with extreme wealth, education, then the majority of us have a whole range of problems and of families courts deal with. Therefore most of us are going through or have gone through similar situations. If we did have and upper class family, we would need private schools, because the children wouldnt survive our schools or our society.

Focus on how you will behave and treat the child. Focus on your own health. Dont be afraid of anything-you are there for the child no matter what, and can be flexible for behaviours learnt to the child, and of the childs distress by patient handing. Forget the pain and when the child is away, ensure protection so child never taken out of country, communicate with courts, and use that time constructively, study, courses-so you keep one step ahead. Adapt to all situations. Enjoy your time with your child, you wont get it back. Pray of thanks of everything you have. Seek the Dr if you feel depression or anxiety. This is all over when your child is adult, so its not forever. Set future goals. And walk away if anyone bullies you in the family, set up access exchange away from your house.

Denice - posted on 11/09/2012

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he would have to file for custody in the state the child has been residing for six months or longer. he will get visitation but he will need permission from the court any time he wants to take him out of the state the child lives in.

Stacey - posted on 11/09/2012

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My fiance (HUSBAND IN 23 DAYS YAYYY!) left his ex girlfriend when his daughter was 11 months old. He filed right away, and she can't move without asking his permission either. He's got joint custody of her (she is now 4) and has access to all of her information. When they split up, she made him take parenting classes, and anger management classes (which is funny - I have NEVER seen him yell and apparently he used to throw things at her - we've been together almost 2 years now)



It's just funny that all these issues were put on him and none on her, and she can continue to be a shitty parent and no one cares.



Edit to add: Court is stupid and doesn't actually know or consider what is best for the child. Just what is easiest.

Heather - posted on 11/08/2012

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No, he can not come get the child from you without a court order. He can go to court and ask for custody. Yes, the fact that you left the state will count against you, especially if it has denied him visitation or you have withheld your address. A presumption in favor of mothers is OVER. The politically correct agenda is to place the child with the parent "most likely to encourage a close relationship with the other parent"

Leigh - posted on 11/06/2012

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You sound scared like a threat is above you for leaving. You have been with him for ages to know him-and you feel this way. Fighting around a child is never good for the child. It sounds like he is selfish and abusive. Things have become extreme of his behaviours to leave state, but also rather complex because he is biologically the father, and how about his family and your childs emotions, perhaps against you, for going. What does a child know, then grow up to learn and be like? 1. Dont let a day/s of stress affect your other days. We are merely 5th generation of ape in this world to struggle and survive. So a day off is appreciated. 2.Dont do anything that will harm others or yourself, or break any rules or your reputation-in this way, you dont loose anything, even when things go up and down. 3.Find out the culture of your area -ie some areas have a preferance for women when the children are young. 4.Lay back and relax.

Felicia - posted on 11/06/2012

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he can take you to court thats for sure.. but get custody no your the child's mother and be for the age of 5 a child needs a stable life...in less you are a mother that uses drugs and hes able to prove that in court that your an unfit mother...i don't think that's the case so don't worry the most that will happen hell have visitations....good luck please let me know what ends up happening!

Dianne - posted on 11/06/2012

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File for full custody before he does anything then it protects your rights. Depending where you live and if you were together at time of birth weighs in as wel. Look up child custody in your state to see what is what. Good luck!

Shenna - posted on 11/06/2012

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Actually both parents do not have equal rights to the child if they are not married. Not here in Ga at least I'm not sure of your local laws, but here the mother has all rights to her child and sole custody until the father files to a court for joint. So you have no worries really. And the more firm you are with him, meaning don't let him over talk you and try to mind boggle you with bs, the better! Especially if you are enduring verbal abuse that isn't a good environment for the child, glad you left! But really and truly you did the best thing at least try to keep the kid in touch with dad if it isn't a bad relationship between the two. What you two have going on is personal keep it separate from the relationship between dad and child! Hope that helped. And btw the information I'm telling you I got from a police officer. I've had issues like this with the father of my first born.

Danielle - posted on 11/05/2012

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depends if he is on the child's birth certificate. if he is then they pay attention to maintenance payments and what type of relationship he had with the child. remember courts like what the child is use to and if verbal or physical abuse was present then the courts need the child's best interest at heart so they will do what's best for the child

Amber - posted on 10/31/2012

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Every state is different. I found this..."Unless there is domestic violence in the family, or the child has special needs, or the parents live far apart, or there is some other factor the court considers relevant, joint legal custody is presumed to be in the child's best interest." from a site about utah law. Here is the link if you want to look at it more...http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/divorce/cu... I am pretty sure though that it would be hard for him to just come in and take your baby away from you. Good luck.

Brandy - posted on 10/31/2012

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He would have to get a lawyer and legitimize the child with a blood test. Just because his name is on the birth certificate doesn't mean he has rights. At least that's how it is in my state. It's very expensive. If he's abusive he won't "waste" the money. If you take him for child support, he may want a blood test to prove he's the father. Then he will have visitation rights. And since you moved out of state, you would be responsible for at least half of the traveling expenses. If you want him to relinquish his rights, you would need a lawyer and things could get ugly. If he's abusing your child, you would need dfacs involved, and again a lawyer. The courts are giving fathers a lot more rights these days and want children to know both parents. Unless you can prove his abuse, it will harder to get your child away from him. It all really depends on how much he loves his child. You would have to be a really sorry mother for the courts to let him take your baby away from you. Hopefully everything works out for you and your child!

Angel - posted on 10/28/2012

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First, you go to a lawyer & file for sole decision making and, if you want to try for it, sole custodial rights - otherwise have an idea of what you want as a parenting plan. If you are willing to give him parenting time (visitation), than show your willingness and reasonableness. Make sure he has to split the cost (you pay for your kid's way home, he pays for their way out to him).



Second, make sure child support is paid on time every time all the time, if its not get his wages garnished.



If he's able to file first, send in a petition to move it to where the child lives. In general, that's what they have to do anyway (file where you live). Be willing to mediate. DO NOT give him the offer of no child support if he goes away. It'll bite you in the butt, trust me. Don't "try to be nice," stand firm, and only compromise on the things you're willing to compromise on.

Jamie - posted on 10/28/2012

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He Can initiate anything he wants to. As long as you are living a healthy life and your child is well cared for then all he will get is visitation, and the court will likely have him pay child support. That in itself might be a good thing. he'll probly

Ashley - posted on 10/28/2012

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he can take you to court,but there is nothing he can do until then. but if he files, for custody first, he might get temporary custody until you do go to court. you should file for custody asap. if he is harrassing you and stalking you, or threatening, or actually doing anything to harm you or your child you should go get a restraining order. but, since you moved to another state, im not real sure about the restraining order.

Keri - posted on 10/27/2012

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It depends on what any current court order says. If you have full custody, I don't think he can do much. My sister-in-law is divorced and the father has partial custody. Once when she appealed to the court to move to Texas to be near her mom who was helping her financially, she was told she couldn't move more than 100 miles away from the father (and vice versa) because he still had an active role in the child's life. That doesn't necessarily apply to leaving the state, as long as it is within 100 miles - they all live in Michigan, so obviously Texas could not be an option.

Kris - posted on 10/26/2012

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The custody aside, if you feel threatened or scared of him you should file a restraining order.

Alicia - posted on 10/25/2012

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In most state unless you are married the mother has sole custody even if the father signs the birth certificate. He can not take your kids he would have to go to court and prove that you are an unfit mother but he may get visitation. I know because I just went through the same thing.

Ronicka - posted on 10/25/2012

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I went through the same problem with my daughter. Whoever's got the child can keep that child in their custody till a court date is set. I'm sure every state is different but if I know now what I knew back then I would've filed first!

Whitney - posted on 10/25/2012

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The child's state of residence isn't the state the child currently lives in but the state the child resided in most of its life. At least where I live. And the father can move you back if you can't prove you are in a better situation in the new state. Like a better job, or in school. As long as his name is on the birth certificate he has the same rights as if you were married. He is the father. My daughter's godmother just went through this.

Kimberly - posted on 10/25/2012

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Divorced. He threw us out 4 1/2yrs ago. And I have an almost 2yr old with a different guy

Kimberly - posted on 10/25/2012

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I'm in Wisconsin and I cannot move more than 150miles without permission from the kids' dad

Adrianna - posted on 10/25/2012

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it depends on the state the best is to find a lawyer and ask them. where i am from since we were never married and because of the state i live in i get sole custody of my son, however i am going through the court to have a parenting plan done so that my ex doesn't harass me about what he can and cant do with our son. also in my state i know that the papers are to be filed where the child is a resident. so best thing is find a lawyer that does free consultation and ask them about the laws in your area

Jennifer - posted on 10/25/2012

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I would file for sole custody in your state. That way he would have to go to your state for

Court hearings. Make sure you have all of the verbal abuse evidence (emails, texts and personal experiences) also have a friend/family write a letter if they have witnessed said abuse. Make sure that letter is notorized. I would file before he does. Good luck.

Meagan - posted on 10/25/2012

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Visitation must be filed in the state the child lives in. if he wants to see the child, he will have to go to court in your city. The judge may or may not require you to split the travel costs. If it is within driving distance (2-3hrs) away you may be required to meet half way. If he is across the country, visitation may be less often but for longer amounts of time. Ex: all summer or the full Christmas/Thanksgiving break every other year.

Mechelle - posted on 10/24/2012

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That's true an i understand I was just told that I could take them an go cause it was a abuse relationship and unless there was no court order that he couldn't do nothing unless proves he is an I got this by two lawyers in the state I left

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