Do I need a lawyer if I want to file for sole physical custody??

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

My daughter is 1yr old and her father hasnt seen her or called and asked about her since she was 2 months old. Hes not listed on her birth certificate so Im assuming I have full custody of her now. But I want to make it legal and through the courts. Should I get a lawer for this? He is a heroine addict, felon, perscription drug abuser and many more disturbing things. He also does not pay child support..

I know your thinking why the hell would I have a baby with this person.... well, he "was not able to have children" we were only together for 1 month.

I live in Nevada if this helps. Thank you.

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Stacy - posted on 07/29/2010

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Great. So you have what you want. Sole custody of your daughter. Don't go to court to establish paternity, or anything else. There you have it. And you got him out of town too! I should be so lucky. ;)

Lea - posted on 07/18/2010

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He doesn't have any rights, and by default you are granted full and sole custody by law at birth if you aren't married at the time. I wouldn't worry. Unless he gets an attorney, I wouldn't sweat it. He has no rights until paternity is legally set by the court.! Relax :)

Poloist12 - posted on 03/25/2014

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Screw that! Don't listen to the people who are telling you to ignore this. You've already started to be a forward thinker in this, go the next step and think about what could happen in the next 18 years. Get with an attorney; trust me. Do not take legal advise in this forum or any other. You could be hurting yourself in the long run by taking advise from someone who isn't an attorney.

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Poloist12 - posted on 03/25/2014

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I'm calling BULL to all,of you who are saying; " don't worry about it" get an attorney and make it legal. The father won't have any teeth to fight you, but you should still go through the system to make it all legal.

Listen people, we all need to be forward thinkers here. What if ten years from now something happens to change your situation or his intact. Yes by all rights he has abandoned his child, but she still needs to finalize everything so that he has no recourses. Damn all these people here playing lawyer kills me.

Herbie - posted on 03/20/2014

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i am canadian, married a american, me and my daughter have green card and live in american, but husband wants to adopted my daughter and has no father listed on birth certific, what she i do

Evelyn - posted on 11/23/2012

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Before taking all this advice that since he is not listed on the birth certificate, go seek a lawyer's council. A lot of them anymore give a free first visit and it will answer a lot of your questions. I would not seek out just one of them though. I would check with a few lawyers and see how many of the answers match. Because if you go on living like this he can come back later and demand visitation and such and can get a DNA test whenever he wants. Cover your tracks. If you can not call it full custody by the birth certificate alone, get it done in court. If he does not show up for the court date, its all yours.

Melinda - posted on 12/26/2011

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Get a lawyer, if you are lucky he won't show up for the initial proceedings. Often there are several steps before you go to a full hearing...but he has rights and so do you.

Danielle - posted on 06/22/2011

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no you don't need a lawyer, you need to bring paper or even photo proof that he is unfit via pics of him high, the courts will have a copy of his criminal record if any, when he contests. Judges want to see why and know you want Sole custody, the more unfit things you can provide the better, and state that he hasn't been apart of her life since she was 2 months old. you do however, have to fight with him in person, the more things you have to throw at him in court the more pissed off he'll get and show the judge what he's all about and will rule in your favour. I live in Canada and out here the judge rules for who applied for custody first kind of thing.

Allison - posted on 06/22/2011

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in iowa, the father is the father whether he is on the birth certificate or not. All not being on there does is make it so he would have to prove paternity if he wanted something. so i would say get a lawyer safe guard yourself and your kid.

Julie - posted on 06/22/2011

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Dear Angie no one as a right to judge you you are after all a human, Your first duty is the care of your child and safety. I advice you to check your right in nevada as laws are different in each country or atate. however most have the same rule of duty of care for a minor the fact he is not on the birth certificate stregthen your case for parental control in the UK where I am we don't call it custody anymore their is a 3 part 1. the residence of the child 2. sole parental care 3 joint parental control. He would first need to prove he is the father by having a DNA test this goes the same for you if you are applying for maintenance for the child. You should be able to see a lawyer pro bono for an initial advice we have legal aid which is the equivalent of your pro- bono work. You will feel a lot better once you know your right as your taking control of you and your childs future. Good luck for your future
with love and light Julie UK

[deleted account]

I'm pretty sure Nevada also has the abandonment law here. I think I read it was 6 months of no contact. I haven't seen or heard from her "dad" in 19 months. He moved to another state 1 yr ago too. I do want to talk to lawyer to get all my questions answered. Thank you everyone for responding :)

Candace - posted on 03/24/2011

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I don't know about in Nevada, but I know where I am at if you don't put the father on the birth certificate it just means you have to prove through Paternity test who is the father. I know here where I am if he were to take her though you could get him for kidnapping because again he or you would have to prove paternity. We also have an abandonment law, were if a father or mother doesn't talk, see, contact whatsoever for a year or court set time limit they consider it abandonment and who ever the child resides with then get sole custody because once abandonment is established the court signs full custody to the residing parent. So honestly, I would set a free consultation with a family law lawyer and see where your situation lies and what the birth certificate means in your case. It's not going to hurt to talk to a lawyer at all. It's not going to bind you to anything to make sure your child is safe from being taken from you.

[deleted account]

Stacy- Ya I think I'll just let it go. I just wanted to have it legal. But if he ever wanted to take me to court for any sort of visitation or custody I have everything documented.

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone! I just look on his Facebook and I guess he moved to Oregon a couple weeks ago.. Also he posted a sex video of him and his ex girlfriend on his facebook page calling her a whore! Ya thats how this guy is!
I dont know what I want to do? If we go to court for child support then he would get visitation.... but I do NOT trust this person with a pet rock let alone my daughter! Even if I took him to court for sole custody it would still open a can of worms. What I really want is sole custody of my daughter, he can terminate his rights for all I care. Plus I really dont have the money for a lawer :( But I DO have everything documented from when he saw her the first few weeks of her life and all the comments and posts hes made on FB and Myspace. hehehe

Candice - posted on 07/29/2010

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i agree...if he's not on the birth certificate you have sole custody. If he wants to fight you, he'll have to go to court, but with his past he likely won't win much of anything even if he did. You will not be able to get child support, but frankly, i wouldn't bother because it sounds like you won't get any anyway.
As for travelling, if he's not on the birth certificate you don't need any other documents. I have a friend in the same situation (in canada) and as far as the world knows, the child has no known father, so there's no questioning custody rights.

[deleted account]

I don't know the laws of Nevada, but in MOST states in the USA, if the couple is unmarried, you cannot just put his name on the birth certificate, he has to sign it in the hospital, or petition the courts later on.

Unless he is on the birth certificate, he has no legal rights to the child. If he isn't fighting or even talking about trying to claim the child, if you don't want or think you would get child support (the main reason for trying to declare him as the father) then I would just leave well enough alone and ignore the situation.

That is very kind of you to allow the grandparents to know their grandchild, the more people who love the child the better. And having that connection to their father's family may be beneficial emotionally for yoru child later on in life. :)

Stacy - posted on 07/28/2010

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I'm not sure what the Nevada state laws are. My baby's father never signed her birth certificate, and I am the only one on it. In my state, you need to establish paternity before a judge issues a custody order.
If you have no interest in giving this man any paternal rights, or taking money from him, you may better off as you are. You are the only legal parent.

Amanda - posted on 07/27/2010

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I would be really careful. I am not from the states but Canada and watch your steps. It doesn't matter weather he is on the b/c he can take you to court. I am not saying he will but being a mom I would make sure. What if he does clean up his act and decides that it was a mistake not being there for you two? Then what you don't have a legal document saying that he can't. All he would have to do is call the cops saying you are keeping his child away from him. Yes he isn't listed on the b/c but he can get testing done to prove it then you are in deep S**t cause now the law says he can see her. Going to court for soul custody isn't a bad thing. It makes it easier to travel. Once you enter another country with other rules you could run into problems without legal documents. This is what my lawyer told me. Without papers stating I have soul custody I would not be able to take my son out of the province let alone the country. If he does change his live and can't find you to see his daughter he maybe able to file for kidnapping and once again you don't have legal papers saying she is all yours. It doesn't hurt to go for soul custody and would take a lot of legal issues out of the way. Go for legal counseling to see what may be the best way. Trying to find everything on the internet proves faulty as they don't always update them. I am not trying to sound like a bad guy but I have soul custody and I was told I will have no problems even if he takes me to court. Going to court also helps if he does try for visitation. You can now show them that he didn't show up to fight for her, that he had this past, he wasn't there and that he didn't care before. But by not going now you don't have any proof except for his criminal record. My advice would be to talk to a legal counsel and find out everything. They know the law and that is their job to help you. Good luck and hope you get everything sorted out.

Kayla - posted on 07/27/2010

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i got mine from the county clerks office i dont know if u have one of those in nevada but if not u could always call down to ur court house and they would be able to give u some kind of information about it

[deleted account]

Do you know where I might be able to find information on the father not being on her birth certificate in Nevada?
Thank you everyone for you comments. :)

Jessica - posted on 07/19/2010

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I would double check your state's view of the father not being listed on the birth certificate, just to be safe. My daughter's father was, only because I got help from the state I was in. He saw her twice before she turned 1, for like 2 hours total. He does not want/have any involvement. I just filed for sole custody (so he can't come back later) and I did not have a lawyer. I have my final hearing soon and it's going smooth. But when and if you do file...state's have certain stipulations/rules during the duration of the "battle". :)

Kayla - posted on 07/19/2010

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i dont know how it works in nevada but in michigan if there not on the birth certificate then u have soul custody of her already i just went through the same thing with my son just call down to the place u have to contact to file for it and ask them but u shouldnt have to get a lawyer

[deleted account]

Beth, he cant even take resposibility for himself, I really dont think he would ever try to take me to court for any custody, and if he did im sure the judge would laugh at him becaue of his back ground and all the text messages I have from him. Also I think if he wanted to prove he is her father he would have to pay the $ 600 to have that test done and hes not going to fork over that kind of money to prove hes her father. Child support, I havent even gone after him for that cause even if its court ordered he would not pay. His parents come every couple of months to visit with my daughter so she does know her grand parents. When my daughter is older and wants to contact him thats fine with me, ill just let her know not to expect anything from him. Thank you for your response.

[deleted account]

If he's not on the birth certificate, then if he wants custody/parental responsibility he will have to prove that he is the biological father. Also if he does want to go down that route, then tell him to go to court, have a DNA test etc. From what you've said he's unlikely to got down that route, especially if he's claiming he can't have children.

The other side of the coin is when your daughter grows up, she may start asking who her biological father is. That may open up a can of worms, especially if she wants to trace/make contact with him. Luckily you are several years away from her asking questions.

There are pros and cons to both parents being on the birth certificate, like parental rights and also child support being paid, your daughter's family roots (both your side and her father's family) etc.

Kerry - posted on 07/18/2010

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Angie,
The custody issue surrounding ur daughter is NOT there. You have the legal document in hand her birth certificate. With you being the only one listed on it you are then the only legal gaurdian of her. Now if he was to be looking for custody then he would have to do all kinds of court stuff. You were set to go the day the birth certificate was filed. It ll falls on him if he decides to do something. You have nothing to worry about you have full legal custody and rights to your daughter because the birth certificate says so. If anyone were to say take you to court and say you do not have sole custody... the judge would pull the birth certificate and then say yes you do after they reviewed it. You are set to go just you and her.

be at ease it is all leagal there is nothing that says other wise.

Meagan - posted on 07/17/2010

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Honestly, ignore it. With him not on the birth certificate, he's technically not the father, meaning he doesnt get legal rights. And, let's say a year from now you get married and that man wants to adopt your daughter, it will be easier since father is "unknown".

Don't go to court. Avoid it at all costs. Here in AZ it's like that, and, here, if a father gives up his rights, later on in life he can try to get them back. So, as a simple solution, just leave well enough alone.

Also, document EVERYTHING. Any harrassing calls or texts you get from the dude. Status updates on facebook about drugs. Anything and everything, because, if he decides to take you to court (which probably isnt going to happen) or if you take him to court and he fights for visitation (which COULD happen), then you have all that to back it up.

Honestly, they will not just take a guys rights away. It's really hard to get the state to do that, and even the most extreme circumstances (like him), they will encourage drug rehab and supervised visitation over removing his rights, which is NOT what you want to happen. Really, HE would have to agree to sign over his rights. The only other option is sole custody, but that doesn't really mean he has no rights. Just has no custody and has to pay, but even thats tough to get sometimes. The joys of supervised visitation!

So, my best advice is to just leave it alone. According to your daughters birth certificate, she has no dad, so theres no dad to give rights to!

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