My son's father lives out of state(Louisiana) and although he gets 7 days off every 3 weeks, he chooses not to visit or make any effort to establish a relationship with him. Our son is 3 years old and always asks me who he is when he shows up for a visit. He usually visits 2-3 times a year and I always let him stay in the spare bedroom so he doesn't have hotel expenses. He has decided to come visit but I have family visiting so unfortunately for the first time he can't stay here. After letting him know the circumstances, he gets irritated and decides that he's going to take our son away for "a few days" on a trip. Can he legally do that? We have never been married, never been to court, his name is in the birth certificate but no order of any kind is in place
Family Law Attorney
If you were never married and there hasn't ever been an adjudication of paternity, then the father has few rights and under Arkansas law the mother has custody unless and until a Court orders otherwise.
That means you can put limits on visitation. If you do not believe it is in your son's best interest to go on an out of state trip with his father (which would be reasonable if your son does not recognize him). You could actually deny him all visitation -- but it would be best for your son to try and encourage the father-son relationship by trying to work out reasonable visitation arrangements.
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