is it true that if i am not married to my daughters father then i have 100% custody of her even thou he signed the birth certificate n everything?

Erin - posted on 11/03/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My Daughter's father is 38 & has 6 kids by 5 different women...my daughter is his 7th, im his 6th babies mother and i just found out 2 months ago that he is going to have a child born this November (which means the asshole was out dippin his stick in other females when i was 6 & 1/2 months pregnant with our daughter). He has NEVER come out of pocket not ONCE for ANY of his children (not even ours)...his famous line is "oh thats not my kid, shes a hoe she cheated on me with my cousin" ...now he has NEVER said this about my daughter and he was with me everyday of my pregnancy, he was with me for her birth and everyday thereafter up until 2 months ago when i found out about this new chick thats havin his kid. i kicked him off my couch out of my appartment and i moved back in with my mother for support. He is good with her thou and she lights up with a huge gummy smile and squeals her head off every time he is around her, so when i have appointments to go to or lots of errends to run or clients (i own my own spa) i leave her with him for that short period of time. BUT i have been holding back on telling him about himself because: A- she is jus so sooo happy with her dada and B- im afraid that if i piss him off (he is very VERY childish and extremely verbally n mentally abusive) he will take off with her and ill never see her again. (he was born and raised on the US Virgin Island of St. Croix) Id like to go to court and get some sort of supervised visitation in place or even have him give up his rights so that he wont be able to take off with her. I dont want cut him off and take him away from her because she just lights up everytime she see him, but i dont want him to ever try taking off with her either. Some of my friends say just cut him off shes only 5 months and wont even notice but i truly feel that she will....a little piece of me inside is kinda hoping that he will do what he did with alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll his other kids n jus leave and not look back but i dont think thats gonna happen because he says this little girl is the love of his life.
Sorry...i know i kinda rambled on a bit but does anybody have any advice? im a first time mom and this is NOT how i ever dreamed it would turn out...i dont know what to do

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Jane - posted on 11/03/2011

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No, it isn't true. Precise details vary between states, but if he is on the birth certificate he is considered to have parental rights. Unless those are given up by him, or removed by the court, or a court issues a custody order for sole custody in your favor, you do NOT have 100% custody of the child. If you want sole custody you will have to pursue it legally. If you cannot prove he is abusive, then odds are you will get split custody of some sort so be aware of that before you start anything.

TLisa - posted on 11/07/2011

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I live in Ohio and my daughter's father took me to court for visitation. I just knew this was a slam dunk case because he had recently got out of prison for a drug case and the few times I did let her go visit with him, I had to pick her up because the police called me because he and his current girlfriend were fighting....when we appeared in court, the joke was on me. Unless I could prove that he had harmed her in any way, neglected her or she would not be safe with him, then he had the right to visitation, and NOT supervised. So just because you feel that he might do this or that or is unfit to be her father, unless you have proof, don't get your hopes up. I know that the laws vary from state to state, but you need to mentally prepare yourself to have to share visitation. Good luck!

Lindsay - posted on 12/13/2011

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I'm not overly familiar with Mass. law, but typically if you file for sole custody there is a court hearing. He can either show up (or not). If he does not show, you will typically be granted your request for sole custody. Unless you agree to joint custody ahead of time, most courts will only make a decision based specifically on SOLE custody.
Any "ammunition" you will need to plead your case you should bring with you to the hearing. I know it can be hard admitting that you could do the best for your daughter alone, it may be the best thing. He can still agree to visitation once you have sole custody, but the glory is that it is on your terms. you make all the major decisions and if he becomes someone that you need to protect her from, you can do that. you have the right to make any and all decisions when you have sole custody. A family law attorney would be well worth a visit/consultation. You may pay a small fee, but talking to someone who doesn't know your or him can be extremely helpful. Good Luck.

Angela - posted on 12/13/2011

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I have gone through the same situation. First of all you do not have custody of her just because she lives with you. You need to file the paperwork now to get sole custody. That does not mean that he wont be able to see her dad it just means that he cant take her. You make the decisions. You can even decide to let her live with him but you call the shots. Second, No do not take her away from her daddy until he proves to be a bad dad. If her hurts her or takes her around drugs and situations like that. She deserves to have her father and she will grow up to resent you for keeping her from him. Dont be childish and dont use her as a crutch either and that it what others are telling you to do. Let him be a good dad file for child support so that you can get help. Then go to social services and apply for health care, food stamps and child care vouchers and you will be fine. I promise.

Jodi - posted on 11/29/2011

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As a veteran paralegal in Nevada (now our state differs in many ways from most states due to transient populations, etc.) but the most important suggestion I can make or issue I can bring to light for you is the difference between different types of custody. When you are talking about "parental rights" that is a gray area and is not always the same as custody in terms of location. The child resides with you as the mother, you never married the father but he's listed on the BC so the child is obviously in your custody. I am not familiar with your state's laws but in NV the physical AND legal custody need to be established by the Courts when a paternal parent is listed on the BC and parental rights are at issue. While he does not have a custody arrangement or custody rights to the child it is because the child resides with you and has never resided with him, etc. However, he would still have LEGAL custody (JOINT) of the child unless he voluntarily revoked his parental rights of the child (often happens to avoid Child Support Orders here in Las Vegas) or the Court orders his rights be revoked due to violence/abuse, etc. against the child or his obvious abandonment of the child over a long period of time. Not disagreeing with anyone and everyone has valid points here, simply giving you a little more insight. (I have personally been the recipient of my ex's request to revoke my parental rights so his new wife could "adopt" them and I refused which took us back to Court where I was awarded them back with me half time with continued Joint Legal Custody. Did it on my own without an atty, too. Wohoo! YAY!) Good luck my dear!

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Melinda - posted on 12/27/2011

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Good for You Erin! Now you can start enjoying life with your daughter!

Erin - posted on 12/27/2011

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I had to go to court last week to file a restraining order on him and the judge awarded me custody =)

Melinda - posted on 12/26/2011

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go file for custody. No one can leave with country with a baby without a passport (which requires both parents signatures, unless you have a court document showing that he has no parental rights). Until something is defined on a legal document, both of you are considered full custodial parents, with the right to cross state and county lines..etc. This may not have been your ideal, but you can make it work, just be sure all your ducks are in a row to save yourself any possible (further) heartache down the road.

Melinda - posted on 12/26/2011

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@Jane is right. You could not even file kidnapping charges without custody signed by a judge. Go file for full physical custody ASAP.

Nana - posted on 12/21/2011

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He has as much right to custody as you do until you file for custody through the court.

Erin - posted on 12/19/2011

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No unfortunately i didnt......but if i could go back and could of had a heads up, i still wouldnt change a thing because i love my daughter to death.

Stephanie - posted on 12/19/2011

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can i just ask.........did you know of his history before you fell pregnant?

Erin - posted on 12/19/2011

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Since i have posted this question my daughter's father has left us and has not attempted to contact us in over 3 weeks....smh, im not surprised because he has done this to every last one of his children....when he decides he is done with the mother he also is done with the child...i wish men like that could be arrested....ive filed paperwork with the Department of Revenue so they are on his ass now if he ever gets a job, law suit payment or wins the lottery or something...after the holidays are over im planning on meeting with a lawyer to get sole custody of her without visitation for him if he ever comes back....he will NEVER see her again...i will not sit back and allow my daughters heart to be broken by a father who comes around then leaves comes around then leaves comes around then leaves....but i doubt he'll be back, he never went back for any of the others...bastard

Melissa - posted on 12/17/2011

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If he signed the birth cert, you will need to share. Daddy's who abandon have to prove they are dad. You could get support since he signed... that will help over time. You're in a hard place.

Vanessa - posted on 12/16/2011

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File with your state's Attorney General's office. They will set up child support payments and visitation arrangements. It is free.

Christy - posted on 11/23/2011

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Here's the thing...a mother can put WHOEVER they want to on a childs birth certificate. It does NOT matter if you put Elvis Presley's name on it. If you are not married, then NO man has any right to the child UNTIL paternity is established or they sign saying they are the father and give up their right to a paternity test. Now, if you did have paternity done and it came back he is the father, the name will be put on the BC and he does have the same rights until court orders are filed. I've been through it, in Kentucky, but none the less, that is how the birth certificate thing goes. Think about it...if you put someones name on the certificate that really wasn't the dad (just say you put a guy friend just to fill the spot, dont know someone would, just sayin) then if the person on the bc has the same rights, this guy who really is not the childs father would have every right to your child...that's not true. Unless you married, nobody has the right to a child except the mother until paternity is established. Hope everything worked out *I'm posting like 20 days later and just now realized that :)!!! Keep your head up, though!!

Erika - posted on 11/17/2011

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Are they helping you put together a child support and visitation (or lack of/supervised) agreement? I think you should get that in place asap. You are entitled to some monetary support from him for providing for your daughter. Hope all is going well!

Erin - posted on 11/17/2011

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Thank you Barbara =) we do live at separate addresses and i have spoken to the Boston Family Court and you are correct I do have full custody of her in the state of Massachusetts as we are not married and she lives with me.

Barbara - posted on 11/17/2011

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A 5 month old baby will notice that this person is not around and will react by changes that may seem less than important to some. Check the state laws concerning the parenting rights. In certain states, single moms who have had the baby daddy sign the birth certificate and an affidavit of parentage are still considered THE custodial parent....meaning that mom has the final say so. Courts will order child support for the father when couples are not married and have separate addresses. (I am not sure what will happen when they have the same address and are not married). Talk with your local Department of Human Services concerning visitation and what can or should be taking place in consideration of the baby daddy's displayed attitude. Or if you'd like see what your local health department has for women's services or if they could direct to an agency that would help you with your concerns. The sooner you find what direction you can take the safer you will feel for yourself and daughter. GOOD LUCK.

Erin - posted on 11/09/2011

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In the State of Massachusetts i do have %100 custody....we are not married so the guidelines are different from those who are married....I was on the phone with the custody people down at the Boston Family Courthouse for over an hour yesterday...and as far as her going to my mother if anything ever happened to me, all i have to do is write up a will and say that that is who she is to go to.

[deleted account]

The best is to get a custody agreement. It can clearly outline travel, how much time, etc. You do not have automatic 100% custody. She is his child so he has the same parental rights as you do.

Erika - posted on 11/08/2011

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Erin-Good luck to you and enjoy being a mom to your wonderful daughter. She will be fine as long as you keep her best interests first!

Erin - posted on 11/08/2011

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ive decided that i am not going to allow him to see her anymore..it was stupid of me to even believe everything was gonna be ok solely based on the fact that she smiles when she sees him..i called the family court in Boston today and spoke with a woman and told her my story....bottom line is that he and i are not married so i have 100% every right to say that he cannot see her and if he has a problem with that the lady told me to tell him to go to the Boston courthouse and file for visitation then....i dont think im going to have to worry about that thou because he never went for any of his other kids and he hasent even called me in 3 days since i told him my mother does not want him here at her house....thank you ladies all for your advice and support! this is a great website and i am so happy that ive found it because i no longer feel alone =)

Aniesha - posted on 11/08/2011

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I feel sorry for you & your daughter, it must be a horrible place to be. Just wanted to say you sound like your doing a fantastic job as a Mummy, and if he walks out, well she's lucky to have you:).

Erika - posted on 11/08/2011

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I tink you need to write EVERYTHING down...including dates, times, conversations. You said he is mentally and verbally abusive, but then you leave him alone with your baby (thinking that he may take off out of the country)?? I think you need to get to an attorney rigt away to get full custody (have your parents sign a letter about his outburst they heard and get it notarized) and get court ordered child support!

Erin - posted on 11/08/2011

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I live in Massachusetts....As to proving he is unfit, i have a police report of one incedent where i had to call the cops because he would not leave my house when i told him to go, and he got mad that i called the cops so he took my PS3 and he broke open the baby's piggy bank and took all of her money i had been saving for her (around $300) the cop who came saw her piggy bank broke open n everything....also another time i had gone to my appartment with my mother and step-father to get some things for the baby and my daughter's father was in a rage yellin and shit sayin that he wanted to give up his rights and both my mother and step-dad heard him say it clear as day so im not sure if that counts for anything....my mom has the day off tomorrow and is goin to help me find a lawyer to talk to....as far as im concerned at this point with everything thats been goin on these past few days i dont even wany him seeing her at all no more. Thank you for your advice Marie =)

Marie - posted on 11/08/2011

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What state do you live in? some states will not terminate a parents rights unless that parent has been proven to be unfit which is hard to prove. Also if no custody has been established then no one has legal custody and if his name is on the birth certificate he has the same rights as you. Also you can't take a child out of the country without a pass port and both parents have to sign and apply four that. if you go to court most courts are not going to order supervised visitation on him unless he is a danger to her.if he haas 6 soon to be 7 kids I hate to say to this but topi are not special and he had probably told and acted with all the women the same way as he has told and acted we with you. He may be childish and he may watch her but guys like that usually dont and won't want our take on the responsibility of a child full time because its an inconvenience for them. So.......before you go to court ask yourself what do you expect to get out of going to court? Know the laws in your state and be prepared to not get full custody unless he agrees to it during a mediation session if your state our county provides that as an option. Good luck.

Erin - posted on 11/07/2011

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Excuse me Taryn but are you trying to compare me to the ghetto trash on Maury? This post was a question about custody & guardianship issues thru the courts eyes...not about what example of a man im setting for my daughter...so your comment was really not helpful to this conversation what so ever....im a mother, i wash bottles and spend time with my daughter all day so i dont know much of what the Maury show is about, but apparently you do...maybe you should stop watching ghetto trash if it bothers you so much and go find something to do with your kids instead...then maybe your comments wouldnt be ill-placed and iggnorant!

Crystal - posted on 11/05/2011

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I live in CA and I know things are different state to state. I am a single mother of twins (8yrs). The sperm donor has seen them for an hour once when they were 6mos. I do have a child support order, he did have a good job. I did not list him on the birth certificate and he never contested the paternity. I highly recommend get papers filed with the court. I would also have a will/living trust if god forbid anything happened to you. In addtion to that you should assign someone (sounds like your mom) as temporary guardian if you were unable to get to your daughter. This last one is (did you hear about the incident at the Safeway in HI, where the parents forgot to pay for a sandwich and were arrested and the child taken by cps?) They couldn't just have a friend pick her up, it has to be someone who has temporary guardianship. Being a parent is a huge responsibilty, even more so as a single parent. Knowing the law and your rights is SO important. Good Luck!

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Your daughter loves him (obviously). Why would you want to take that away from her? Yes, he's scum, but you are his SIXTH woman. Don't punish her for your choices. Granted, he doesn't sound like he'll stick around if he keeps up w/ his track record, but let HIM make the choice to continue to be a loser. Don't make that choice for him.

I do think you should go to court and get custody and visitation agreements in writing asap. If he DOES take off w/ her after that... it'll be really bad for him.

Brenda - posted on 11/05/2011

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You follow your heart and make sure you do the right thing for your daughter. You really have answer your own question. I would get a court order that he is supervise visitation when he is seeing your daughter to make sure no harm will come out of his visit. I do believe a child should know both parents as long as they are doing the right things on raising their child,. (BJ from Lanham, Md)

Erin - posted on 11/04/2011

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Ooo ok thank you Jane. i am going to start researching the issue today...my main goal in the end is that IF anything ever happened to me then i would waqnt her to go to my mother. My mother seems to think that in the event anything ever happened to me then the courts or Judge would take one look at his history of walking away from his children and not supporting any of them, not having a steady job or job period whatsoever over the past 10/15 yrs (because he knows they will take childsupport out), living from couch to couch and impregnanting pretty much anything that moves to my mother who is a Nurse Practitioner owns her own house and is beyond able to care for her. But in all honesty if it ever came down to having to go to court i know they would rule in either me or (in worst case senario) my mother's favor because most of his other children's mother's have tried to take him to court but he has never once shown up for any of them. Piece of shit...im about to just not let him see her at all unless he has money with pampers or wipes in his hand when he comes.

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