Does my son's dad have legal rights?

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I was told a while back that my son's father has no legal rights to him even though he has his last name and he signed the birth certificate. Does anyone know if this is true?

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Chris - posted on 08/28/2013

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If the father's name is on the birth certificate but they are not married can the mother move out of state for a better job, with out his permission? They are in AZ. Their are no custody papers or child support in effect. She doesn't want to do this. Their relationship is rocky. She has no problem telling him but is afraid he will threaten her.

Lindsay - posted on 03/20/2013

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My lawyer finally told me he has no rights even though he signed the birth certificate. He has to take me to court to gain rights since we were never married. I was concerned he would go to the daycare and take my son without my knowledge and him being a drug addict I wasn't gonna let that happen.

Naomi Dawn - posted on 09/14/2013

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i let my children go see there dad on the 6 weeks holiday they left on the 23 of aug they was ment to be back on the 2nd of sept but there dad failed to bring them back to me he is on bail from seeing me due to other issues we cannot have contact only tho a 3rd party ive rang the police and been to social service no one wants to no i got a solister but that's gana cost,hes put them in a school down there cud any one give me some advice

Lorie - posted on 05/25/2013

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I need help my son who is 20 has my grandaughter who is1 yrs old and him and the mother are not together but friends i worned dfs their was something wrong with my grandaughter and so has my son. This was in April and i begged dfs to bring her to us but tuesday the mothers boyfriend hurt my grandaughter she has multipul fractures in her skull and bleeding fri this week she was doing great but now in state custody. We go to court tues and threw all this ordeal no one contacted us about what was going on till thursday and when my grandaughter got hurt the mother did call my son and told him she was in hospital in serious condition. I ask my self why dosent my son have rights he is on the birth certifi and now she went to a foster home why couldnt she come hear with us we didnt do the horrific accident we were never suspectsIm affraid wee r going to lose my little girl my granddaughter CAN SOMEONE HELP. We do have attorney but its legal aid my attorney is out of town till tuesday and that to late since we go to court tues at 830.

LeighAnne - posted on 01/21/2013

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It is state by state. In Georgia, the only way a man is legal father to a child is if he is married to the mother. Signing the birth certificate doesn't mean anything really. Legitimizing the child must happen for the man to be considered birth father. I've adopted twice, so that's where I get my info. In Ga a man can request visitation all he wants, but mom doesn't have to allow it, until he takes a dna test to prove paternity. Then, he can take her to court for visitiation and now, since the child is legitimized, she can get child support.

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John - posted on 03/25/2014

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Farm what I'm seeing here Cody is the only one getting it right. Whoever told you that the father has no legal right is a quack.

Mstfd - posted on 03/17/2014

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Depends on the state. In Ohio, mothers have presumptive full custody. That said, he must pay child support. If he wants visitation, he will have to file a plan for that with the court. He's probably going to get some parenting time, unless he has been abusive.

Stacie - posted on 12/10/2013

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I married my son's dad 3 1/2 years after he was born. Shortly after that he signed the birth certificate just so he wouldn't have to pay child support. We have been separated more than being together and has told me that I don't have any rights to our son since I married him and that our son will never leave the state that we live due to his family is here and that our son has a life here. When he kicked me out of the house he told me that I was not allowed to take him with me.

Cody - posted on 10/23/2013

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i don't understand though, none of this is right. it should be 50/50 unless taken to court and the judge wants it otherwise. moving out of your state for a new job without permission from the father ? that's nuts , do whats right for your kid and let him have his father in his life. that's cruel. my babys mom is a drug addict and im 18 years old working full time and raising my own son and I still make time on the weekends where she can come see him if im there. you people are unfair and all crazy. just because your the mother what give yous the rights to take a father away from their child......... do whats best for your children

Cynthia - posted on 09/14/2013

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Ok so heres the story......Me and my sons father have been to court and everything is settled. Even though he doesnt have his last name yet (because I havent changed it) nor did he sign the birth certificate he gets him every other weekend and we share joint custody. I just got engaged and me and my fiance are moving together next month, planning to. Where I'm moving is actually alittle closer to his dad but Im moving with my fiance. My question is...Is there anything my sons dad can say about that? Could he possibly take me back to court or file a complaint or something lilke that? Even though my fiance has a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment my son would have his own room and there would be nothing wrong? Just because Im moving with a man could that affect my court settlement with him or could it cause problems??

Larry E - posted on 06/29/2013

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to Lorie Despres you can file a petition for writ of habeas corpus to challenge the custody of your grandaughter if the grandaughter if the Court proceedings are unjust or unfair. I to face an issue with my newborn son David Ealy who was taken April 1, 2013.

Larry E. Ealy
e-mail olakwesuelbey@yahoo.com

Jay R Taylor - posted on 04/23/2013

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"myson was givin to me my coustody because his mother was in trouble for drugs she has him now and picked him up from school when she was not on the pick up list"

Sarah - posted on 04/22/2013

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It all depends on the state. If not married and you have custody then that's how it stays until you go back to court. If not married when child is born then get married then get divorced. Whoever last had custody. If never went to court then you share joint which means either parent can do whatever they want including leaving the state until visitation and custody is set up in court. Also every parent has a right to all medical records and school records even if they don't have custody. I am going through all this right now. My daughter is five and refuses to see her dad because she is afraid he will keep her and she won't see me again. I have tried to get him to understand that he has to gain her trust but he doesn't get it. I have custody before we got married so still have it. But we are fighting to keep custody but add the right to move out of state. So we will see what happens.

Elena - posted on 03/20/2013

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my son is 16 . He lives with me. I'm divorced from his father there was no custody case filed in court. We just been sharing custody but now he keeps saying if myson gets in trouble at school one more time hes going send him to a boys home. Can he do that legally?

Natalia - posted on 01/18/2013

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I am looking for same answer of someone who went through this,even though I was reading leaflet about rights of fathers when they sign birth certificate,,that they haven'tn got guardianship rights after signing that,

Lindsay - posted on 01/18/2013

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Per Ohio Revised Code 3109.042 it says if the child is born to an unwed mother, the other parent must go to court to get rights.

Aeryn - posted on 12/30/2012

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No, it's not true. If he signed the bc then he has legal rights. He can even take him and doesn't have to give him back. In fact, if you call the police they will not intervene since he is on the bc. (I had a friend who this happened to). You will have to petition the courts for legal custody or if you are granted joint custody, make sure you get a copy of the papers. So if he takes him, you will have this to take to the precinct as proof it is not his day to have him. Best of luck to you.

Stephanie J - posted on 12/30/2012

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You must go to court to terminate his rights.Depending on the State you live in and how long the child has not had contact with the father. The Judge may order vistations. Good luck

J M - posted on 12/28/2012

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I See this post is a old Post 3 yrs ago... But wonder when they don't get back, how to it turn out?

If you say You were told black and white?? by whom? Someone who has absolutely no Legal Knowledge? then very wise to go ask a Legal Adviser first then no room for Confusion.


If was Signed and sealed by parents YES Father OR Mother both have rights. Unless they have those rights willing changed.( or unless a Court overrules rights, because of serious Neglect , abusive issues etc)

Goodness just so sad when children are in the middle!

Any one simply, Seek proper Legal advise asap you will then properly have all your Qs answered with out the very strong Emotions "that can naturally go with these situations", fueled emotions trying to rule a judgement often don't turn out good for all concerned, specially when Children are involved.

Things done Legally better.

Star - posted on 12/26/2012

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your sons dad does have legal rights to your son. Its only when the dad doesn't sign the birth certificate and doesn't have his last name that he doesn't have legal rights to your son. I went through the same thing with my son.

Ashli - posted on 12/20/2012

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Yes he has parental rights, just because he is not in your sons life don't mean he dont have his right to your child, take him to court and request his parental right terminated or child support.

Nicola - posted on 12/18/2012

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The law has now changed, in that if the fathers name is on the birth certificate they have a legal right. it is only if the fathers name is not on the birth cert that no rights are afforded to them. this has only recently changed. before this even married fathers had no custodial rights. just glad my ex was too lazy?( more likely thought he was being smart) to come to the registration! lol.. only because he's trying to throw his weight around at the mo!

Jennifer - posted on 11/29/2012

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I know in michigan BOTH parents have EQUAL rights to that child if born out of wedlock, unless one or both parents filee for custody or joint custody. In other words if he takes your child and doesnt want to give him back then the police wont be able to do anything because hes the dad, even if youve been taking care of this child UNLESS you recieved custody from the court stating that you are the one with custody then his father has just as much right as you.Good Luck Call a few attorneys at the least for advice.

Evelyn - posted on 11/28/2012

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As far as I know, until you go to court and set things in a custody format with the court, he can come and see the child, take the child places, and do just about anything you have been doing with the child. Since no order is in place, no one can say either of you is kidnapping the child or anything like that. You need a lawyer for your state to tell you what you need to know. They know the laws of that state and can advise you more ably. Since you did not tell us if he is involved at all in the life of your baby, that will have some bearing too.

DeAnn - posted on 09/15/2012

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I know in TX, if the couple is not married, it doesn't matter if he signs the birth certificate or not - he is not the legal father. That technical definition determines everything. A man can be the legal father of his wife's child even if she cheated on him and got pregnant by another man, and the husband is the one who has to pay child support because they were legally married.



Again, this is for TX because I've been through it but it goes like this: you file with the state AG for a support & custody order. He either states in front of a judge he is willing to take legal responsibility for the child, or contests paternity. If he contests paternity, he must submit to a paternity test. If he IS the father, he must foot the bill. If he is NOT the father, the state pays for it and the case is dropped.



Once he's declared the legal father, he is given visitation (although you have primary custody by default) unless one or both of you have lawyers to declare the other is unfit. His wages are automatically deducted up to 20% plus any health insurance premium.



He'll get every Wednesday and every other weekend, plus father's day, every other Christmas and birthday, and summers. You get him during the school year and mother's day and the off weekends.



You do NOT have to allow him access until legal paternity is established but he equally does NOT have to provide support without an order. Additionally, failure to provide support for 6 months or more is grounds for termination of his paternal rights, but once taken away you forfeit any further child support (although he'll owe back support). Keep in mind custody and support are two different things. You must allow him access even if he's providing support and he must provide support even if you deny him access. Both are equally enforceable by law enforcement. Again this is only what I know about the state of Texas. Your state laws may differ.



When my son was taken across state lines during a verbally agreed extended visitation while I moved, (because my ex was a spiteful a-hole) I was able to find out where he was (thanks to family) and the police turned my son over to my grandfather because it was literally not my ex's weekend according to the order. Later, when I got married, since my ex hadn't paid child support, we were able to terminate his rights without him contesting, and my husband adopted my son. My son now carries my husband's last name. He's known him as his "real dad" since a few months before the wedding, and idolizes him. He has learned to be a respectful, responsible young man because I waited until a good man came along.



All the best, hon!

Mischa - posted on 09/11/2012

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YES!!!!!! He acknowledged his paternity voluntarily! BUT do NOT get custody, visitation and child support confused. they are ALL seperate issues and dealt with individially. He HAS to petition to the court to excercise rights for Visitation, custody, and any modifications for child support. It is NOT assummed. Get into a habit of filing motions and legal agreements in writing. Never rely on emails, texts, or phone calls. Judges don't like that. They like written agreements.

Leeanna - posted on 07/09/2012

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but what if my son has my last name and a - and then his dads?
but his dad is on the birth papers too
how could i get all rights?

the hospital said if I put my last name near his middle name i'd have all rights is this true?

Janice - posted on 05/03/2012

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He has legal rights to the child. You need to have a court order to put it in writing and make anything enforcable.

Barb - posted on 05/02/2012

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If he is on the birth certifcate he has rights. I was talked out of doing that by a socail working at the hospitail I thank god I did that every day my daughter is safe and he was never there.

Amy - posted on 04/30/2012

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i am in mn and my daughters bio father has no rights to her what so ever and he pays child support. he will have to take me back to court and prove after not seeing her for 3 years that it is in her best interest that he sees her. So not going to happen

Dias De - posted on 04/25/2012

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Question: If my son's father is order visitation every 1st, 3rd and 5th week of the month, does he also get every Thursday's if my son isn't in school?

Valerie - posted on 11/17/2011

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If he is on the birth certificate or was married to you then yes he has rights and can pick up his son from you at anytime and won't get in trouble for it.

Shannon - posted on 11/17/2011

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He has rights, but they are not absolute. If there is no court order- if he requests time with the child, you have a right to see that the time he spends with the child is monitored until he is deemed fit for unsupervised visits. If you were ever married to the father, the way the court will view the situation will differ from how it would be viewed if you were not married. If he has been in the child's life for a significant period of time before your separation from him, that could change things as well. I would recommend allowing him to see the child in a safe environment if he requests time with him. Document everything- all contact between you and dad, attempts he has made to see the child, concerns you have based on FACTS, child support he has sent, etc. If you plan to take this to court, be prepared to explain why you think this man is not fit to spend time with your child, and be prepared to prove what you say. A judge is the only person who can tell you what rights your child's father has. Don't believe anyone else because judges are the only ones with the power to make that determination. If you do go to court, perhaps you should ask for a guardian ad litem for the children. He or she will assess the situation through interviews and home observations, and will be able to provide a report to the judge. Good luck.

Melissa - posted on 03/14/2011

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My daughters father has not always been around but he has visits once a week. he is not on the b/c . i never put him on it cause we were not speaking at that point. but he still has rights.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/14/2011

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what about minnesota what are a fathers rights if he signed the r.o.p.and on the b/c.i was always told the women get to keep the baby .no matter what till the guy brings it to court.my son is a good father and until three weeks ago he was caring for his son fulltime.while she worked then she broke up with him for the 100th time.and now she will not let him see him.so we filed the papers for court and waiting for a court date.but might not see him for a least month before all this is done.any suggestions.we have tryed talking to her and she is just out to hurt my son.

Andrea - posted on 03/13/2011

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If there is no court order specifying visitations and such....then his rights are equal to yours. If he were to take your child, law enforcement could not intervene if he could prove he was the biological father. I work for a law enforcement agency in Michigan, and we deal with this issue all of the time unfortunately.

Elizabeth - posted on 03/12/2011

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in minnesota,the father has to go to court to get visition.even if on b/c going through it right now.my adult son 20 yrs old was the primiry caregiver of his son and took care of him while the mom worked,so they would not have to pay daycare,and she broke up with my son 3 weeks ago and kicked him out.and will not let him see his son and i as grandma have been taking the baby everyweekend sence the baby was born to let the parents adult time my grandson is 13 months so he is used to being at my house so my son moved in started back to school to finish his high school education.to beable to get a job to someday get a job to support his son and we had to file papers last week to get visition.we asked for thursday to sunday those are the days she works so she does not have to find daycare.and when my son is at school i will watch the baby.so i think some fathers should have rights and she is mad he has such a strong support system.for the best interest of the baby i wish she would stop useing the baby as a pawn.

Carol - posted on 08/23/2009

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He has rights sorry but if he has not been in his life you can go through the courts and get sole custody then proceed to take his rights away. there is alot to it but you don't want him to 15 yrs from now step in and turn it all on you so take cae of that all now. Good luck

Brandy - posted on 08/22/2009

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I live in Texas and when I went for child support they set up the father with visitation.. No over night visits until 3, then he would get him every other weekend, every other holiday, every birthday of my son, and from the time school let out till a week before school starts back in the summer. He so did not deserve that much.. but he has not seen him one time since we went to court and that was 3 yrs ago. After 3 yrs they consider that abandonment (sp) and they look for the best intrest of the child. My son does not know his father and I do not have to let him just come get him out of the blue and take him.

[deleted account]

If you can't afford a lawyer, I just learned that legal aid in your state, county does pro-bono cases. Aslo, find out about getting legal custody of your child. I learned this information from a friend who mentioned that it is better to obtain legal custody of your child, because if anything happens to you or the father the state can come in and take over as guardian. I hope this info helps.

Stephanie - posted on 08/20/2009

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Well, I know in the state of Nevada, unless you guys have been to court and there has been a custody order established he has no rights. The mother always has full custody from birth until an order is set.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/20/2009

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I live in Texas and I was advised that as long as the name is on the birth certificate and he acknowledges that she is his, then he has rights. If you go to court for child support they may also set up visitation rights at the same time (they did for me). I did not want my daughter to go with her father by herself so I put in the visitation that he had to complete 24 supervised consecutive visits (1,3,5 Saturday from 1-5) before he could take him on his own. That was 5 years ago and he still hasn't completed this request since he will go for a while and then miss just one visitation and then it is back to one. If you are really worried, talk to a lawyer first.

Shawna - posted on 08/19/2009

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your best bet is to go for full coustody....with full coustody you ahev full rights he still has some rights but under your cercumstances....every father has the right to see there child if they choose i mean there are some oputt here that dont want anythign to do with there kids...but will full coustody you are uin controll and that is what you want....btu yes talk to a lawyer and see what you can do about it all...it is better to get the right info....but i do know that as many rights as he may have he still can not come into your home and steal your child...unless you give your child to him and he doesnt give him back without coustody there is nothign you can do about it my best advice for you is to keep your child close and untill coustody is arranged dont let him take your child other than that he is all yours!!!!!

Candice - posted on 08/19/2009

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http://www.divorcelawinfo.com/states/ga/...



he has rights because he acknowledged paternity. but also in that sumary of georgia custody law, the court seriously considers whether he "abandoned" you and left you to take care of the child.



men are notorious for going for rights if you go for support. he may not (probably won't) get custody, but he may fight for visitation if you fight for support. but then, he may do that anyway. that doesn't mean you shouldn't get support, i just want you to be prepared.

Jayme - posted on 08/19/2009

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Every state has different laws on this. I'm in Ohio and child support and custody/visitation are two separate things. I took my sons father (who is on the birth certificate) for child support over a year ago and he still technically by law doesn't have any type of custody or visitation rights b/c he never filed for them. The only catch to this is that if the father has the child, he legally doesn't have to give him back b/c their is no custody agreement.
I would definitely do your research on this. Good Luck!

Lysandra Lea - posted on 08/19/2009

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The father always has legal rights unless he signs something giving them up. But every state is different. If you google fathers legal rights and your state you should find ALL the laws on it and what can affect what. If you file for child support he my file for visitation...most guys think this will get you to stop them from filing but I still would. Like I said though if you google it court laws are all public and you can check everything out. Hope this helps!

Shalyn - posted on 08/19/2009

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as far as i know...yes he still has his paternal rights. i was told when i was dealing with things with my son that his biological 'father' has legal rights. and my son has my maiden name. i would however call a lawyer anyways and just find out for yourself but that is what i was told.

Tiffany - posted on 08/19/2009

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That is false if he signed the birth certificate by law he is the childs legal and biological father he would have to sign over his rights.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the info! I'm going to look into it b/c I'm thinking seriously a/b trying to get child support, but I'm worried he might have more rights than I think he deserves if I do that.

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