I am twenty two weeks pregnant. The baby's father has not been around the whole pregnancy. At first, he claimed it wasn't his child. He came around two weeks ago thinking everything was going to go back to normal. After I refused to be with him, he started threatening me with taking me to court to take my unborn son from me, and to get my son to have his last name. He has slandered my name and bashed me out on a social networking site, he has hit my in my face three times. I have a witness that was there, but I didn't report it. He is saying since he has a $5000 lawyer, a stable job, and went to rehab he won't have a problem taking him from me. Is there anything I can do?
Personal Injury Lawyer
First, assuming you are not married to the baby's alleged father, he has no legal rights re: that child at present; you have full rights re: the child. Assuming the two of you are still not married at the child's birth, he will have to establish paternity (at the least), if not also legitimation, and possible custodial and/or visitation rights. Paternity and legitmation in Ga can be established through one of three ways: (1) marriage before (paternity) or after (legitimation) birth; (2) court order; and/or (3) signing of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (and/or Legitimation) Form. If he were to sign the VA form, and he isn't the father, one or both of you may be subject to legal sanctions. Also, if he isn't the father, I would not let him sign the birth certificate.
If he doesn't establish paternity, etc., about the only other way(s) he could try to get the child away from you may be through a deprivation proceeding, termination of parental rights, or a guardianship proceeding, for example, in juvenile or probate court. However, if he isn't "blood kin" to the child, he may have a hard, if not impossible, case to prove. This is purely hypothetical, however, absent some form of legal action being initiated by someone.
As regards what you claim he has done to you re: the alleged slandering/libeling (i.e., on a social networking site) and alleged physical violence, that may be grounds to obtain a temporary protective order and/or a stalking protective order against him.
Based on the foregoing, I advise that you go ahead and sit down with a family law attorney to at least consult with them thoroughly about what your legal rights are, and suggestions for how to proceed from here. Good luck.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Assuming you are not married to him, ignore him. Unless, after the child is born, he files to legitimize the child, he has no rights to the child at all, and you don't need to do anything unless he files, in which case at that point you should see a lawyer. Violent abusers don't tend to do well in custody cases, so don't worry about the case that has yet to happen.
If he keeps bothering you, consider taking out a temporary protective order.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Let me be very honest with you. Even if he is not there during the entire pregnancy. Even if he is not there for the birth of your child. Even if he doesn't immediately show an interest in your child. And, even if he does not immediately legitimate your child, he will still be able to petition the court for legal and physical custody rights. Even long-term deadbeat parents sometimes petition courts for parenting time and custodial rights, and judges are typically reluctant to "write-off" a parent, and refuse to allow a parent to remain a part of a child's life.
Furthermore, to prevent the granting of legal and physical custody rights your burden will be extremely high, and you will need to show something more than a simple lack of involvement. You will need to show he is somehow unfit to have these rights (i.e. he is prone to violence, a habitual criminal, drug abuser, alcoholic, etc.). If you can show that contact between the child and the father would not be in your child's best interest, the court could deny his request for parenting time. If you cannot show that he is unfit, then he will be granted custodial rights. His parenting time will be very limited in the beginning, as Courts necessarily apply different standards for newborns and very young children, but the bottom line is he will be allowed to be a part of your child's life.
This is a very serious, and complicated matter, and you should immediately speak with an attorney who can provide you with the advice and representation you will definitely need to deal with the situation.
Thank you and good luck!
Nothing contained herein shall be considered or construed as creating an attorney client relationship between the party asking the question and the attorney. All legal problems are different. The answer given is only a general response based upon the facts provided and should not be considered specific advice for your case. Always contact a lawyer for advice about your particular circumstances and issues.
Family Law Attorney
I have one thing to add to my colleagues' excellent advice... if he hits you again, call the police. Don't ignore domestic violence! And don't ignore it then but complain about it later.
Good luck protecting yourself.
~ Kem Eyo
The above answer is a general explanation of legal rights and procedures. It does not constitute legal advice. Nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship between the individual posting the question and the attorney providing the answer.
1 lawyer agrees
Family Law Attorney
Even though you did not do it at the time, take your witness to local law enforcement and make a report or his hitting you. You may make an application for a warrant for his arrest for battery in your County's Magistrate Court. Even if an arrest warrant doesn't issue, your magistrate has the authority to issue a good behavior bond which put restrictions on his contact with you. You may also apply for a temporary protective order through the superior court. You do not need a lawyer for any of these, but it helps. His threats are common and a form of emotional abuse. Don't believe him.
This answer is based on a very incomplete version of the facts. A complete and accurate answer is only available if a lawyer knows all the relevant history and circumstances of the case.