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Does anyone know the parents legal rights on unmarried with children?

My so is always threatening me with taking my kids that we have together away! Can he just take the kids like that even if we are not married? What rights do i have as a mother?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:04 PM on Apr. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (21)
  • Depends on your state. In my state if he is on the birth certificate then you both have equal rights if there is no parenting plan in place

    Answer by a_and_j_momma at 1:06 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Do you live together an dis he on the birth certificate? Then yes either of you can file for temporary custody. If anything ever happens with you two splitting up go file for it before he does. But if you even have a DHS case with their names on it, and not his then they are already in your custody and he cant do a thing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:07 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • ...and people wonder why getting married BEFORE having children IS such a big deal!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:10 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Usually, the mother has sole parental rights. In my state I knew someone where the police were called and the officer told the kids dad that he had no right, that by law she had more rights than he did and he would have to get an attorney to establish his parental rights. His name was on the Birth certificate too.

    If i were you, I'd go to legal aid in your state and find a pro-bono attorney to handle the case for you. Usually you have to sit through a 2-3 hour seminar and then wait on a list for an available attorney. That's the requirement out here anyway. Unless you are a victim of domestic abuse, then they may bump you up the list and you don't have all that red tape there. That's my state anyway.

    You have more rights than him and don't let him bully you into thinking otherwise. If he is abusive contact your local domestic woman's shelter hotline and ask them what to do.

    Good luck and keep us posted please. :)

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 1:18 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • In my state, the father doesn't have rights if you aren't married unless he petitions th court.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I live in california what is a DHS case?

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:20 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I just want to add here too, that if he leaves the state, that's kidnapping. There's more I had to say here, but not enough room LOL if you'd like to message me I'll tell you more. LOL And i'll keep your anonymity.

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 1:20 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Please check into your state. Not all states are the same. In my state like I said both parents have equal rights. That means that if there is no one that has filed for custody of the children than any one of the parents could MOVE anywhere and there is NOTHING the other parent can do. If there is no order in place or no one that has custody then it is NOT kidnapping.

    Answer by a_and_j_momma at 1:21 PM on Apr. 14, 2009


    From that form right there it looks as though custody has to be established. Call your local court facilitator and ask them.

    Answer by a_and_j_momma at 1:24 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • In Florida the mother has ALL rights if she isn't married. Even if the dad signes the birth certificate. This is why I had a 'contract' signed and noterized by me and my now DH (we werent married when we had our DS) that stated if DH didnt want to be in our sons life I would not take him to court for child support (BTW I put that in there bc I didn't want to feel 'obligated' to let him see our son if he had ever walked out on us. I have the theory if he wants to be here then he's here on a constant basis and if not he was not going to be a happy birthday merry christmas dad who came around at his convienance and got my sons hopes up just to hurt him. it's either 100% or 0% no in between)
    Sorry got sidetracked but the contract also stated that if we were to ever spilt up and go seperate ways he would also not try and get legal custody of any kind that visitation and all that would be up to us to decide and I got FULL custody

    Answer by theheartbaby at 1:31 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

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