Please help! I have a 17 month old daughter. Her father has never met her, told me to get an abortion, never signed the birth certificate and never tried to see her. He lost custody of his first child to his mother (not the childs mom, his) and later adopted her out He got served support papers today and said he's going for full custody! Can he do this? Do I need a lawyer? ? We were never married and I'm a very stable, loving parent.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The odds of the dad getting full custody of an infant he has never seen are very slim. However, he will be entitled to some parenting time with the child unless it is clear that he is a danger to her safety or welfare.
With all of that being said, anything can happen in court. It is important that you get an attorney so that you can properly protect your rights to your child as well as to get a result that is appropriate for your family. It is also important to have someone to guide you through what is always a stressful and confusing court process.
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
A Judge is not likely at all to turn over custody to a parent that has never met the child and more importantly never tried to see her. He also knows that this type of statement will make you nervous and that is why he said what he said. Having said that you should seek the maximum amount of child support that is permitted if you have not already done so. The idea of child support for some fathers has an amazing chilling effect. You will definitely need the assistance of a lawyer to help you. Best of luck to you.
This information is provided as a public service to provide a general answer and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
He can try to have himself adjudicated the legal father and to establish custody and parenting time rights. It is incredibly unlikely he would get full custody. However, if you want to to assert your custody rights in the situation, the best way to do this would be to get an attorney to represent you for the case.
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Generally, there is a statutory presumptive right to parenting time for the father of a child, once his paternity has been established. Depending on the reasons for losing the custody of his daughter, it might be possible for you to prevent or at least minimize his parenting time. However the courts do not look favorably on efforts by one parent to exclude the other unless the mother or child has been a victim of domestic abuse by the father. Though it is very unlikely that he can get full legal or physical custody of your daughter, an in depth discussion with a family lawyer will help clarify your options. Here is a link to some basic information about child custody: http://www.minneapolisdivorceattorneys.us/Child_Custody_Parenting_Time
Family Law Attorney
I suggest that you retain an attorney to represent your interests in both the child support and custody matters. They are technically separate, but affect one another greatly. Your strategy in terms of the custody of your daughter is extremely important, and what happens now will affect yours and your daughter's lives forever. Most attorneys offer free consultations. You should consult with one as soon as possible.
Family Law Attorney
If you were never married and never had any kind of custody or parenting time order entered, you presently have sole legal and physical custody. He has nothing. So, at the outset, he is at an extreme disadvantage. The reason why he got support papers, I'm guessing, is because you are receiving some kind of benefit from the county/state. The county is then legally obligated to go after him. Now, he can certainly try for "full custody," but I'll tell you right now that unless you are a train wreck of a parent, he won't get it. He'll probably get joint legal custody and some parenting time, which may increase as time goes by. No judge is going to give an unmarried father primary custody of a toddler when the mother is decent and stable. Not going to happen. Now, you still need an attorney to fight his motion, assuming he files one - he may just be bluffing. So, wait and see what he does, and if you're served papers for a custody motion, then get to an attorney ASAP.
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