Can the father of a baby take the child away from the mother if they were never married?

Asked over 4 years ago - Shreveport, LA

My sister had a baby with a guy, put him on the birth certificate but they are not married. She wants to leave him because he is very much an unfit father. He will leave the baby in the crib for 4 hours with a dirty diaper til she gets home and he has a child with his ex-wife whom he never sees and if behind on child support. When she tell him she wants to break up he threatens to take the baby. Can he do that?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. William Francis Henderson

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Without a custody order either parent has the right to have the child. If she wants to break off the relationship and keep the child, she needs to either take the child with her somewhere and wait for him to file for custody and visitation, or she needs to go ahead and file for custody of the child. Keep in mind that until she has a judgment giving her custody, he has the right to take the child and leave and he would not be in violation of any law since he is the father.

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