Do I have full custody of my child if I was never married to the father?

Asked over 4 years ago - Mchenry, IL

I have a little girl..she is 3 years old. Her father and I never got married we split about a year ago She was staying with him at first but as of 6 months ago she has been staying with me most of the time..her father was able to see her when ever he wanted...He came to pick her up for a night because some issues I was having..I was to get her in the morning and now he said that I can not have her back...I wanted to know if I have legal right to her seeing as though I was never married. His name is on the berth cert though..she also has his last name.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Well, you need to establish what custody rights you have. Hire an attorney, make a court argument through your attorney that it would be in your child's best interests to stay with you and have some visitation rights with her biological father.

    Until you act through the court process, though, you are really letting the father control the shots.

  2. David Matthew Gotzh


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The Guru hit the nail right on the head. If he's not returning the child, you'll need to petition the court. Going Pro Se is ill-advised, Illinois Family Law is complicated enough, but court procedure makes it nearly impossible to navigate on your own.

    If you can't afford an attorney, contact the McHenry County Bar Association or Prairie State Legal Services YESTERDAY. Time is of the essence, the longer you wait, the harder it will be.

    Best of luck & hope this helps.

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