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Can my child's father get joint custody to lower his child support payments?

Nashville, TN |

I recently had a child by a married man. He was ordered to pay $757 a month. He recently asked me for a copy of our daughter's birth cirtificate for ins purposes. I provided it for him. He claims he has her ins card but refuses to give it to me. His wife is a paralegal. I am afraid he is going to file for joint custody to lower payments. Can he do this? He didn't even want her.

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Attorney answers 2


If that is his plan it is flawed. Insurance is a negligible expense when matched against the real cost of raising a child. If money is his motivation, joint custody would be a bad move. Although child support is tied to the amount of time each parent spends with the child; litigious parents seem to not understand that if the child is with you, it will be far more expensive. If he really wants to insure his child that is a good sign. Neither of you wanted her! Life happens! If he is a gentleman about it and might be a good father, let him have the chance and don't deny her the opportunity to have a father figure in her life. Get a good lawyer and don't close your mind or your heart. Your relationship with him obviously failed, but imagine if your daughter could believe she has a great father.


Custody and Visitation is always based on the best interest of the child. You have stated that he is ordered to pay support but I assume that there is no ordered visitation. A Father can play a very important and key role in a little girl's life, this will be her basis for relationships with men, her self esteem and self-confidence, and a large reflection on how she views herself. The role of a Mother is equally important in an entirely different way. If he is willing to step up and play a key role in her life you should be appreciative of that and less concerned with the impact that will have on child support. The Tennessee Child Support Guidelines will ensure that no matter how many days each parent has with the child, that the child support is fair to ensure that the child is adequately supported. If you have the child less days then you will need less money to support her because he will be filling that role more while she is with him. It is important to separate your feelings about him for the unfortunate ending of your relationship from what kind of father he can and will be. I understand that you are operating from a place of fear and concern of the worst case scenario, but in today's day and time usually both parents are working and will end up in new relationships and have to deal with issues of blended families for the years to come, perhaps you should give him the benefit of the doubt until you have firm evidence to question his role or motives in your child's life because you will be her mother and he will be her father for the rest of your lives and you will need to attempt to work together to have a healthy happy child.

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