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Do you really need a lawyer to file a parenting plans?

Hephzibah, GA |

My sons father took him over state lines four months ago. I have no money for a lawyer and those who would speaking to me told me the same thing everyone has. That he has no legal right to my son seeing that we weren't married. I when to Ft. Bragg to the daycare center to get him back and he call the cops on me. They told me that even though we have a parenting plan filled out I have to get it signed by judge for it to become active. Do I need to get a lawyer for that our can I just file it myself.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If the father has not legitimated your son, he has no right to detain him. You do not need a parenting plan at this time. What you need is an attorney in Ft. Bragg that understands Georgia law and can file a habeas corpus action to get your son back. Contact the legal aid office if you do cannot afford an attorney. You will need to provide a certified copy of his birth certificate. If the attorney needs help finding the appropriate Georgia law that states that the mother of an illigitimate child has all legal rights to custody, please contact me.

I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.


Unless the father has legitimated the child and has also obtained custody, or unless you are married, your husband is a kidnapper and you should be able to get the police to arrest him and help you get your child. You may also be able to file a civil case (call the local bar association for a $25 to $50 consult). No parenting plan is needed.


First, you do not need a lawyer to file "a parenting plan" (or the actual pleading that would require submitting a parenting plan). Having a lawyer is recommended since the average person has no idea what they are doing in legal matters. But family law is one area where it is possible (even though ill-advised) to proceed pro se.

Secondly, unless there is some important fact missing from your question, the cops got it wrong. If you were never married to your son's father, then he has no legal rights unless and until he legitimates the child. The mother of a child born out of wedlock has sole legal and physical custody of that child. Rather than you showing the police anything, they should have required the father to show some proof of his right to have the child (birth certificate, custody order). But the fact that the police didn't return your child (and that the daycare center allowed the child to be enrolled) makes me wonder if there is some information missing from your info.

Third, you do not need to file a parenting plan unless and until you have filed some other action (such as legitimation, change of custody, or divorce).

It doesn't really help you for us to tell you what should have happened. You really need to speak with an attorney about what needs to happen next. As has been suggested, you should contact one of the legal assistance programs (such as Georgia Legal Services Program or State Bar of GA Pro Bono Project) to see if you qualify for help.

Good luck getting your son back.

~ 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.

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