He hasn't contacted us in any way since before I had her. He's already had a child with another woman (their daughter is a few months old). He's never supported us in any way and hasn't filed for visitation or anything. I'm filing for divorce this month and I want to know if it's likely he'll get visitation or if I can claim abandonment?
Under MO law, he may be entitled to some form of visitation rights if you seek child support or any sort of support from him. Please check with an attorney who practices in your local area to be sure what the law is and how you can go about protecting yourself and your child. You mention that he has not been supportive or been in contact with you. You should be sure about your property and your goals heading into a divorce before you speak with an attorney or, at he very least, know what you want to do in terms of his ability to have a relationship with your child. This is important and should not be taken on a whim. Please contact an attorney as soon as you can, either on your own or by referral from the MO state bar.
Child custody involves decisions about who will be responsible for a child, including parental rights, for both married and unmarried parents, and adoptions.
Child visitation refers to non-custodial parents' rights to visit their children. These rights are commonly detailed in a visitation plan.
Written by attorney Patrick Chatterton
As a father, you want what is best for your child. This is especially true during the difficult circumstances surrounding and following a divorce. Divorce is one of the most stressful... more