Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 3 years ago

Can an unmarried couple live separately if they agree themselves who keeps their child without going to court?

My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years and have a 3 year old child together we decided we agree on a break up and living separately. We came to a mutual agreement that he would keep our child living with him and that I would move out alone since he can provide better for the child than I could. we don’t want to fight in court for custody and he’s okay if I want to come over anytime I want to see our child. I also said I would buy things for our baby time to time anytime I could. We aren’t fighting we just want to go the most peaceful way about this And some time apart to either see if we are just taking a break or agree to permanent break up which will most likely be the case. We just need time apart either way. So my question is, can we go about this without it being considered abandonment because I, as the mother moved out? And I’ve seen this before so often where it’s the same situation but the father leaving and doesn’t get in trouble but his family swears because I’m the female, and the mother I would get in trouble....

20 Answers

  • 3 years ago

    While everything is still agreeable in your mutual choices to go about things in your own personal way, I would draw up a contract, between yourselves, that outline your understanding of your child's custody and care, including who is responsible for the child's medical decisions and who pays for any medical needs, living expenses and what not. And, what happens if he decides to move four states away? What then? Because if you have an agreement, you cannot be charged with abandonment. Remember, things will change once your ex finds another girlfriend who hates you coming around. Trust me, everything is going to be peachy keen until either you or your ex finds another lover who may not agree with your parenting arrangement and cause you a world of drama.

    My point is: sit down with him and consider scenarios that could possibly have an impact on your child's life and your parenting arrangement.

  • Liz
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Of course you can come to your own agreement between yourselves, the problem is that such an agreement is not legally binding. That means that either you or your ex can change your minds at any time and decide to stop honouring the agreement. A court order is the only thing that protects you against that eventuality because a court order, unlike a private agreement, is legally enforceable.

  • 3 years ago

    You won't get in trouble, but if he decides to go for child support or custody it will look bad that you left your child (it looks like you abandoned) and he will likely win.

  • 3 years ago

    "Filed for Separation", otherwise you have abandoned the legal matrimonial contract: potentially very serious in court.

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    You have decided that doing things legally is not important and you now have children to boot.

    You want to play fast and loose with your responsibility and think you are still high school students who can have mom & dad take care of you.

    Ya, I see no problem with any of this, MOM.

    Everything is OK now, but what happens when he meets a new foolish little girl and SHE wants to be a family with YOUR child ?? He goes to court and asserts his parental rights and what are YOU planning then?

    OR, you get a great job offer in another state and want to take YOUR child along.

    He can then go to court and have you charged with kidnapping.

    It is time to grow up MOM and get things in writing and legal.

    Let him keep your child, but make sure NONE of this is just talk.

  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    Simply put YOU are a fool! At minimum get an Atty to draft this half asssed agreement so it is done right and legally binding. Things are hunky dory right now but as soon as tomorrow it can change drastically.

    You will come to regret wanting to get rid of your child for awhile so you can go out and play. That child will suffer greatly over this and hell fire things are just that things not it's mother. But the real thing is Daddy would have to pay support so what is the big deal about money and a better life?

    Been there done that only I WAS the child of 5 years old. You can not go home again with a child.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    Of course they can. Days are gone when it's only women who can care for a child. Male gays now adopt babies.

    It is perfectly legal in what you plan to do.

  • P
    Lv 7
    3 years ago

    No one is going to get "in trouble" as legally this is a perfectly acceptable informal arrangement that people do all the time. It's not considered abandonment if you still visit your child and even if you don't it's not illegal and you still would be able to get visitation. The laws actually don't differentiate between mother and father despite the urban legends people believe.

    However at some point he's not necessarily going to want you popping in unexpectedly or even hanging out in his house. He will get a girlfriend, which usually makes things interesting when you start trying to control or set rules for the new girlfriend's relationship with your child.

    As you have no legal rights toward gaining access to his house or controlling his girlfriend's relationship with your child things will probably eventually end up in court. Once you move out your boyfriend has the advantage to get primary custody, but you would still easily get partial custody, but have to pay child support.

    Regardless of my hypothetical situation others may simply convince him he needs to get your informal custody arrangement formalized in court to guarantee his rights in case you change your mind.

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago

    The short answer is yes, you can decide your own living arrangements. The court will only get involved if one of the parents files a petition, or if the state believes there is a danger to the child's wellbeing. But as long as the child is in a stable living environment the state has no reason to interfere.

    A couple of things you might not have considered - who pays for healthcare? Who decides on the necessity of medical procedures? Who decides what type of schools the child may attend? What about vaccinations? What if somebody wants to move out of state? Out of country?

    It might be a good idea to visit a family lawyer and have them draft a custody arrangement just in case you ever end up in front of a judge. That way the judge can see you've taken time to consider the well being of the child, and he or she would be more likely to approve your custody plan.

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