I have a 6 month old baby and the father and I were never married. I live in Atlanta and he lives in another state. He has not legitimized our child and am not sure if he plans to. He wants to avoid any legal proceedings (my guess is he does not want to pay child support as he has not contributed anything financially during the pregnancy or during the six months since the birth). I have been allowing him to visit and spend time with the baby; however, it has been very difficult as he continues to make demands such as wanting me to change my plans so he can visit on short notice and when he's here, he wants to take our daughter to his hotel so he can have alone time with her. Is it reasonable for me to tell him that his visitation will be on my terms until he legitimizes her?
I highly recommend that you speak with a lawyer - not to retain them for any services but just to get a better understanding of the law, your rights, his rights, and what Courts may look to in the future if there ever is a legitimation case. It would be worth the money spent in an hour or two consultation. A few things to know related to your question:
1) Until he legitimates the baby, he has no custodial rights at all. This means that he has no rights to visitation, to be informed of what is going on, etc.
That being said, I do not recommend that you completely cut him off or anything like that because, whenever he does file to legitimate, you want to be able to tell the Court that you allowed him to visit on reasonable terms, etc. For custody, the Court will want to see that you did not simply keep the Father out of the child's life. I have seen judges change custody in some cases when this has happened (and there is another parent who claims to want primary custody).
2) Even though he has not legitimated and has no custodial rights, he STILL HAS an obligation to pay child support. You can request child support be paid through Child Support Services.
That being said, some Mothers choose not to initiate child support because it may lead to the Father then filing to legitimate the child. (If he is going to pay child support, he will likely want to establish his legal rights to the child.)
3) Do your best to keep your communications in a written form -- ideally email rather than text messages -- and keep a copy of these communications. They may be helpful later if you need to show a Court that you have been reasonable.
4) As far as the specifics of when, how often, etc., I recommend that you call an attorney and speak with them. You can tell them what you have allowed to happen, what your concerns are, and you and the attorney can brainstorm ways to address your concerns, etc. The parenting time situations with young babies are different than with older children because of things like their schedule, breast feeding if you are doing that, and the fact that they are still developing familiarity with people.
I recommend that you call some attorneys, find someone you are comfortable with and get some more information for your situation!
He has no rights at all without legitimization, so you can do as you please unless a court says otherwise. And if you pursue support, as you should, he has to pay regardless of any court order.
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Why are you allowing visitation at all? He's not supporting her, and he is obligated to do so REGARDLESS of whether he legitimizes her.
I think you'd be a fool to turn your child over to anyone who has no legal right to her. What if she gets sick or injured while in his care? He has no legal authority to authorize medical care for her. That's just an example, but there are all sorts of situations where his lack of any legal authority over her could make a bad situation worse.
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