How do you feel that a mother can take a child from their father without any legal repercussion just because she chose to string along an engagement and never get married?
I think your question is actually this one:
Can a mother can take a child from his/her father without any legal repercussion just because the mother chose to string along an engagement and never get married?
My response to that question is:
In the jurisdiction where I practice (Utah), a mother (whether married to the father or not) can a mother can pack up and take “her” children with her wherever she likes within the United States. If she is married or divorced and wants to travel internationally, she will need the permission of the father before she can do so. If she had children out of wedlock, she does not need the father’s permission to travel internationally (because we don’t really know who the father is). If she is unmarried and has had the father’s parental rights terminated she does not need the father’s permission to travel internationally (because the father has no parental rights).
Thus, whether the mother broke an engagement to marry the father really doesn’t make any difference legally.
If the father wants to establish enforceable rights to be with his children and have them in his care and custody (whether exclusively or shared with the mother), he has legal recourse, and must avail himself of that legal recourse to get those enforceable rights.
He needs to file a parentage action (also known as a paternity action) in court to establish as a legal matter 1) his paternity of the child in question and 2) his legal rights regarding child custody and visitation (also known as parent-time). Once he has a court order, if the mother tries to deprive him of the court-ordered time he and the children have together, he can go to court to get orders helping him retrieve the children.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277