I agree with Mr. Poulson, absent extreme circumstances, it isn't fair to deny your daughter her legal father, even if he's inconsistent or worse. It is better to try to obtain some child support and if you don't need it now, put it aside for your daughter for later. You can't make the man be a loving, supportive father, but you may be able to make him pay his share. When your daughter grows up, she can decide to sever ties "legally" if she so desires. In the meantime, if someone comes into your life that really wants to be her father, then you can consider terminating the biological father's parental rights so you can proceed with an adoption. Otherwise, don't do it. Good luck!
IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brownâ€™s response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. All of Ms. Brownâ€™s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, please contact an attorney in your state. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to contact her directly for a legal consultation, you may do so by calling 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: email@example.com
What might be best for your daughter long term would be to file for child support. Fifteen years or so, she could have enough money to go to college. Is it really fair to her to give up the money just because you are tired of his nonsense? You have the test. Either file for support, hire a family law attorney to file for you, or contact legal aid. Every month that goes by is money lost forever for you daughter.
How will you answer her when she is ready for college? "I was too mad, sick of the nonsense, unwilling to go to bat for you, to care about your future?" Think ahead for your daughter.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.
If you were not married to the father, he never signed an affidavit of parentage, or you did not file a paternity lawsuit, then he does NOT currently have any parental rights. The only way the father of a child born out-of-wedlock can obtain any parental rights in Michigan is to sign an affidavit of parentage with the mother or through a paternity lawsuit. That fact that you had a paternity test taken through a private company that determined that he is biologically the father, does NOT make him the legal father. In other words, he has no parental rights to be taken away.
However, I agree with the other answers that you should consider filing a paternity action in order to get a court order for child support. In a paternity lawsuit the court must include a provision for child support, but the court need not rule on custody. Instead, the mother is typically awarded sole custody as a default. If the father wants custody or parenting time, the burden is on him to request it from the court.
P.S. If the child ever requires any welfare assistance or benefits a special prosecutor in your county will be assigned to file a paternity action against the alleged father. If you do not cooperate with the special prosecutor, your benefits would be penalized. The state does not like to pay benefits for a child when there is a parent that should be paying support. If the special prosecutor initiates a paternity action, the alleged father may be eligible for a court appointed attorney. However, the court appointed attorney can only help defend against the claim of paternity and the amount of child support ordered. The court appointed attorney cannot help the father (or mother) in any claim for custody or support.
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights. www.hecklerlawoffice.com
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.