What are my rights as a mother with sole custody against an absent father of seven years who has never paid child support?

Asked 6 months ago - Lake Arrowhead, CA

In 2006, I was awarded sole custody of my daughter, I did put visitations but he never exercised his visitations. Last known visitation was with grandmother in July 2007. My daughter was so young that she does not remember natural father or her grandmother. At the time natural father was never interested in her and purposely avoided child support order by never responding to the complaints. Now seven years later, he petitions the court for joint legal custody and visitation. We had our first hearing which judge ordered mediation. Before court order of sole custody and there was domestic violence involved. I have no idea who this man is. I don't know if he is still violent. He is a horrible father and has never done anything for the child. Can I get an attorney and have him pay for it?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Stephen Vincent Smith

    Contributor Level 7
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The only way he should ever get to meet her is in a licensed psychologists office after her own personal therapist recommends it, if ever. It can be very delicate/damaging for a child to reunite with a absent parent. With the right leagal representation, he will not walk right into her life. the court will not order him to pay your attorney fees unless you were married and he now has more income than you. Although I highly recommend you get one asap.

  2. Heather Mellyn Cullen


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . It is in your best interest to consult with a family law attorney who practices in the court wherein your matter will be heard to discuss the specifics of your matter.

    California is a state that requires Child Custody Recommending Counseling (“CCRC” formerly “mediation”). It is standard for the court, and often automatic, when a Request for Order is filed to refer the parties to CCRC.

    While it is possible to obtain an order for the opposing party to pay for your attorney fees related to your matter, it is not likely that you will receive all the money back that you will pay for an attorney (if you retain counsel). The court does award attorney fees; however, they are rarely comparable or equal to the amount of fees that are paid by the individual.

    Nevertheless, you should consult with an attorney who practices in the courthouse wherein your matter will be heard so that you can review your matter and the specific issues of domestic violence, modification of custody, support and attorney fees.

    Good Luck to You.

    15+ Years Experience. DISCLAIMER: This answer and any information contained herein are intended for informational... more
  3. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Was there a court order for support? He should pay that, possibly pay for your attorney. Where does he live? Check his criminal record. DMV record, It all depends on how much justice you can pay for.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.... more

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