Single mom, the father has never paid child support and is not mentally stable enough to have unsupervised visitation in my opinion. He has been in and out of psychiatric wards. He is not on the birth certificate, and I need to get a petition for a DNA test. He also just received SSI but not enough work credits for SSDI, so our daughter doesn't get a check.
If you are wanting to establish paternity, custody, and parenting time, you would need to file a petition to that effect with the courts. However, until that has been done and the court finds him to be the father of the child, there would be no enforceable order allowing for parenting time by Father so if you did not feel he was stable enough to see your child, you technically do not need to send your child. You should consult with an attorney in your area to accomplish your wishes with regard to the custody, care, support, and parenting plan with regard to your child.
In order to address these matters, I recommend that you contact a family law attorney in order to open a Paternity case and file a Petition to Establish Paternity custody, child support and Parenting time- in this Petition you may request that DNA testing take place prior to a hearing on the matter. In your Petition you may also request sole legal and sole physical custody and request supervised parenting time.. You can address your concerns regarding the father's mental state and -- if he is determined to be the father- and if he is seeking parental rights, you can file a motion requesting a mental health evaluation and/or file a request to obtain his past mental health history. Your local child support office may be able to assist you with the Petition, DNA tests, and establishing support, but theses offices do not address issues like custody and parenting time. I would consider starting there if biological paternity may be an issue. Good Luck to you.
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