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Can a man take custody of children that are not biological his but he has helped raised for 8 years?

Hopkinsville, KY |

My husband and I are going through a divorce. He was abusive to me and the boys. He is now trying to threaten me with taking custody of the boys away from me but he is not the biological father to any of them. He is on the birth certificate of the youngest boy but I have a DNA test to prove he is not that child's father. Can he do this?

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Attorney answers 2


You need to hire a good family/divorce lawyer ASAP. If he is on the birth certificate and the child was born during the marriage, there may be rights. He can also petition to be declared a "de facto custodian" if he provided for the children. Your rights are probably superior, as should be the biological fathers. That said, if there are allegations of abuse or neglect, he may be able to convince the court to grant custody. You need to be honest with your attorney as to all of the dirt that he may have. Retain someone who practices regularly in your county.

Kentucky law does not certify specialty of practice in this area. The advice given herein is informational and should not be considered as creating an attorney/client relationship. Michael Bouldin is an independent attorney located in Northern Kentucky. It is strongly recommended to not give any confidential information on any website.


You should hire an attorney in this matter. Regardless of whether he is a biological parent, he may be able to gain custody as a "de facto custodian." A de facto custodian is a person, shown by clear and convincing evidence, to be: (1) the primary caregiver; (2) the primary financial supporter of child; and (3) having the child reside with them at least one year.

Because he has lived with them, he may have an argument for custody, and you should retain an attorney to protect your custody rights.

This content has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or legal opinion and should not be relied upon for individual situations. If you find yourself in need of legal advice for your individual situation, you should hire an attorney.

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