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2 Bumps

Do I have custody of my child when he's born if me and the father aren't together or living together?

Father hasn't helped throughout entire pregnancy but wants to be apart of the child's life when he arrives. He has violence record and temper problems and has threatened many times in round-about ways he would take child first chance he got so I wouldn't be able to take the baby away from him. Can he do this legally?

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Asked by KylesMommy11 at 1:38 AM on Apr. 14, 2011 in Pregnancy

Level 2 (11 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • No he can't. He has no rights without established paternity unless you are married. If you aren't married, you have to have a special notorized paper signed at the hospital to even put him as the father (he has to sign it in front of a notary). You are not required to put anyone down in the box for "father" when you fill out the birth certificate paper. If he wishes to have any say in the matter he will have to get a lawyer & you can fight it by showing he showed no support or interest in the pregnancy. He can't just come "take" the baby from you. You are presumed to be the full custodial parent since he doesn't live w/ you & you aren't married. It's a rare thing for a judge to take full custody away from a mother in such situations. There has to be verifiable reason.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:41 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Also in many states there is what they call a "punitive father's registry" (which most men have no clue about). If he fails to register in a certain time frame stating he believes he is the father of the child he will definitly have very little recourse in the rights to see the child. This doesnt apply in all states but since I have no idea where you are I thought I would mention it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • He wants to be there for the birth and I don't want to take that moment away from him, But is it my decision with him still present to decide to not put his name on the BC? Would that effect us in court later with child support and all? I want him to be apart of his life, but I don't want him to be able to come over and him just take off with him and that be legally ok. So, if there's no agreement (because he wont agree to "my rules go or nothing at all") could he one day take him and that be legally ok?

    Comment by KylesMommy11 (original poster) at 1:45 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • You would have to either agree to it, or be an unfit mother, which he would have to prove in court. My advice, go meet with a case worker regarding child support once this baby is born to get all of the custody, parenting time, and support figured out now. He has to sign the Affidavit of Parentage in order for him to have any rights to time and for you to get child support from him, so if he doesn't do that, then he isn't acknowledged as the father and you have no legal obligation to let him see or take the baby anywhere, so if you feel a moral obligation, that's your choice, but if you have concerns about the baby's well being, I would not do anything outside of the court system. If you breastfeed, many states won't let him take the child overnight for a certain amount of time. Something to think about.

    Answer by stellarluna at 1:49 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • no he can not just take him, you need to go through the courts. If he "takes" this baby for a time that is not designated as his time with the baby, it is considered kidnapping.

    He has to be acknowledged, either on the BC or on an affidavit, in order to file for support. If you want child support, and he wants to be able to see the child, you should let him sign the BC, and I would not let him take the baby alone until you have a schedule worked out with the court system. A newborn should not be separated from his mother anyway.

    Answer by stellarluna at 1:52 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • It doesnt matter if he is present at the birth. You are not married, correct? You are the only person who can legally fill out the birth certificate forms. You can't even legally give the child his last name without him signing the forms too. As for child support, they will establish paternity & can later add his name if need be. Again, this does NOT give him legal rights to just take the child at will. Child support & visitation are two separate issues in court. The person the child lives with is persumed to be the custodial parent. He is considered the non custodial parent (even if at some point you get a custody agreement, still the person the child lives with most of the time is the custodial parent) He has to abide by your wishes unless he goes to court to get a legal agreement (and then again you would both have to agree to it & a judge sign off on it)

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:53 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • You really need to get in touch with the Friend of the Court and ask how and when you start these proceedings, and have a case worker advise you specifically on how the best way is to handle this and not hurt your case.

    Answer by stellarluna at 1:56 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Here's the toughie here. If you are going to be a single mom, and eventually need assistance you need him on the BC because you may have problems. Social services forced me to get a DNA test on my son's dad to prove he was the father so they could nail him for child support. They actually stopped my benefits until they did so. The state wants fathers held accountable.

    If he's a deadbeat, he probably won't even stick around, and he's just trying to be in control. Yes, you are the custodial parent. And courts usually prefer to leave the child with the mother. If it does come to a safety issue for your child, you can call an emergency custody hearing.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:56 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • There will be no child support unless he's on the birth certificate. As far as needing a notary at the signing, that may vary because my husband and I didn't get married till our daughter was a month old and nothing was needed signing the bc in the hospital. Child support and visitation would be determined by a judge. As a newborn no judge is going to "force" overnight visits or the standard 6 consecutive weeks in summer. As a mom who didn't put the dad down for her first and oldest I can tell you its near impossible years later when they decide they don't want to pay. Dept of revenue will not/cannot "find" them to establish paternity etc. My cousin (regarding her oldest) has even told them hey this is where he lives and still they say they can't locate him. The choice is yours though.

    Answer by ShamrocksNroll at 1:58 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • So yes, if he's not on the BC you can't get child support. If he's at the hospital and you protest him signing the declaration of paternity, he can take it to court, and they'll just do DNA. So if it's his kid and he wants to be on the birth certificate, you may need to choose your battles wisely. Wether you keep this child from him or not, he still can pursue his own rights. But will he?

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:59 AM on Apr. 14, 2011

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