My stepdaughter had paternity and child support established a few months ago when her child turned 5. Dad had no contact earlier. She is listed as custodial parent and has raised child alone. She recently ran into hard times and asked him to care for child temporarily. He agreed. They signed a notarized letter. He's had child for 3 days and won't let mom talk to her and said he won't give child back. Mom wants her back now. He moved and won't tell her where. Does support order establish custody that can be enforced? How does she get her child back? Can she go to the child's school and take her home from there? She's distraught, to say the least. BTW, mom was 14 and dad 25 when she got pregnant and he's gotten at least 2 more minors preg. since. Does this factor in at all?
Just found out that the judge denied a paternity test, never done and his name is not on birth certificate. They did order child support however. He has no visitation of any kind. He called child services and claimed child abuse. They are involved now. Will they let him keep her while they investigate?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I agree that she should take a copy of her Order and call the police and just go pick the child up and/or just show up at the school and pick her up. However, you mentioned something about DCF being involved now. If they have an open investigation, picking her up could possible cause further complications, so she needs to talk with the case worker assigned to the case before doing anything. She may also want to talk to the police about the statutory rape charge; although I would wait until she has the child safely with her to do so. Ultimately, she really needs to speak with an experienced family law attorney to guide her through this complex situation before she does anything.
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Joanna Mitchell, Esquire
Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
1809 East Broadway Street, Suite 321
Oviedo, Florida 32765
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
As the primary custodial parent, she should call the police as well as show up at the school to bring her child home. If there is not visitation order or time sharing order by the Court, the police should enforce her right to bring the child home. Your stepdaughter needs to seek a time sharing agreement with the father and get a court order. It not acceptable to use the father for temporary care without a structured visitation schedule. Likewise, the father should not keep the minor child from the mother.