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Can a biological father receive custody of a 5 year old after never having contact?

Santa Rosa, CA |

My son is 5 years old. I was in a relationship with his biological father for 4 years. When I found out I was pregnant, he was going through some personal issues. He decided he wanted nothing to do with our son. I had our child and he mailed me a check 2 months after he was born with $30 stating thats all he could afford. I felt threatened after mailing back the check for my safety. Fast forward 5 years, I know where he is now, he has a great job, was married the month after our son was born, and still nothing. I am thinking about taking him to court so my son either will have financial or emotional support from his biological father. Can he request custody, thats my main concern, he has personal issues that will be with him for life and it makes me very uncomfortable.

Attorney Answers 2


You should consult with an attorney, licensed in your jurisdiction, who is experienced in handling matters in this area of law. A skilled attorney in your jurisdiction will know which questions to ask you about your situation in order to assist you with making an appropriate determination regarding your situation.

This is not legal advice. This response is provided for general information only, as a public service. It is not to be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship; nor is it an attempt to create an attorney/client relationship. Consult with local counsel in your jurisdiction about the specifics of your case, which is the only way to gain true meaningful legal guidance and/or representation.

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Yes, the father can and will ask to have some sort of custodial and visitation privileges with your son. That's because in California, the more time you spend with your child, the less child support you pay. Down here in Orange County, judges are increasingly favoring an equal timeshare for parents. In your case, a judge would likely order frequent, shorter visits until your son got used to his dad, and then dramatically increase the visitation time within a couple of months. In order to find out how the judges in your area tend to rule, contact a very experienced family law attorney before you decide how to proceed. By the way, under the Probate Code, your son's father has abandoned him and you have a possible action to terminate his parental rights. If you do this, however, you can never ask for child support. Good luck.

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