The biological father of my child hadn't been around during my pregnancy, not even after. He recently told me he would sign his rights away. She is almost two months of age. He also has a criminal record, with drugs and alcohol.
Your view of the options is not accurate. Here are some of the general rules that apply when the biological parents of a child are not marred. The father is a legal stranger with no parental rights to a child until he petitions for a decree establishing his paternity. At his request parental rights are established. Courts are loathe to deny all contact, even for fathers with a criminal history, but may impose terms and conditions appropriate to protecting the child. A child support obligation will also be established. In the event that the mother applies for public benefits of any kind, the state may petition for the decree of paternity and obtain a child support order on behalf of the child. When that happens, the father can usually add his petition to define his parental rights. Be aware that the right to be supported and the right to have a relationship with a biological parent belong to the child. Courts do not terminate or deny parental rights under these circumstances, but as a practical matter he has no contact rights until he takes court action.
Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.
This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
Hire a lawyer.
If you go through the Attorney General for support, he'll get a standard possession (visitation) order. You need something different.
This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.
Child support and custody or visitation are two separate and independent matters. A parent has a duty of support to a child whether a parent-child realtionship is in the child's best interests. A criminal record involving drugs and alcohol are serious concerns for the court regarding the visitation, but if she is almost two months old she has just started life. On the other hand, his saying he would sign his rights away does not say much for your needing to have concerns about his having visitation. Yes, his visitation can be restricted at least for some period of time and possibly indefinitely or longer.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline