Need advice on Family Law

Tiffany - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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I am in the process of deciding whether or not I should file for child support from my ex. I'm trying to weigh the pros and cons so that I can decide what the best course will be for my son. My ex is a loser with 7 other kids by 5 other women (that I know about), and he hasn't be taken for child support on ANY of them, so my son would be the 1st. My only issue is that I don't want him to be a part of my son's life because he is violent, lazy (no job or car & lives on his mothers couch) liar who only does the bare minimum to get by so that he doesn't have to take responsibility for anything.

My questions are - What rights would he be entitled to if I filed for child support?
Is it possible for him to pay child support, but not have any visitation or custody?
He is not on the birth certificate, so if I don't file...what issues might I encounter if in the future I get married and my husband wants to adopt my son?

Thanks so much!!!

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Tiffany - posted on 04/20/2010

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In the eye of the law you must file for custody(child support usually goes hand in hand with that). Any attorney will tell you possession is 9/10 of the law. If he were to take your son and there is nothing on file custody wise there would be nothing they could do until custody is filed. That is what got me to file. My ex begged me not to go through courts to handle anything. He had 2 other kids at the time. One he never saw and one he never paid support for and saw all the time. I still do not think she is really his!



If you have documentation of abuse and violence directly effecting you and your child you have a case where you could get only supervised visitation for him. It is possible for him to have to pay support and not exercise his visitation, like my ex. But he isn't paying support either. The courts will give him a chance at some type of visitation. I was given sole custody and he was given one hour supervised visitation per month.



Whether he is on the birth certificate or not does not matter. I do not understand why everyone thinks it makes a difference whether the father is listed. If you go through with filing now, in the future when you want to remarry and that man wants to adopt your son it will be easier to have the law on your side that clearly shows that he has not paid support etc. You can petition the courts for termination of his rights so the new man can adopt. If you weren't to file and were to remarry and have that man adopt your son all his father has to do is petition the courts for paternity and you will be screwed. Do not get on a judge's bad side that way.

Get a good attorney. It sounds like your ex will not have one or maybe he won't even show. That way you can get everything you want by default in the final. Best of luck to you! I've learned family law fairly quickly since my ordeal. If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message.

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31 Comments

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Linda - posted on 10/03/2012

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If you can prove that he is violent, you might be able to get support without him being able to be a part of your son's life, if they believe that he is a threat to you or your son.



As long as he isn't proven the father, and he is not on the birth certificate, you don't need anyone's ok to have your new hubby adopt your son. So you might want to think about the child support issue because it will prove he is the dad....at least that you say he is. If he asks for DNA to be done, and it proves to the courts that he is the real dad, you will most likely have to get his permission to have someone adopt your son.



It all depends on your state laws regarding all of this, since all of the states are different, it is best to talk to an attorney.

Kally Ann - posted on 09/10/2012

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Seeing one of my closest friends struggle and work everyday to provide got her 4 children while their fathers do the very least. One of the fathers is on social security and ordered to pay $0 child support, while mind you he sits at home and drinks 40' s and sells weed. I don't think this is fair, what can she do? HELP :-)

Faye - posted on 05/17/2012

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Denise, it depends on the state but most have a Child Support Collection Center where all payments are sent and then they send it on to the mother/child. If child support is not received, after a time, then the county takes him back to court.

My ex was the same, no job/low paying jobs for the longest time when we were married. He decided in March 2004, he needed something better and by Nov 2004 he left me and (for the most part) has paid child support ever since. When he owned his small business I never received any money at all. After a time he closed that business, went to work for a large company and I have received child support since then.

LiL - posted on 05/15/2012

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I was in a 13 year abusive relationship and in denial for most of it. I left in fear for myself and my daughters safety after a long illness that lead to cancer. I have moved on and found a wonderful man whom I am blessed to share the last 6 years with. My daughter is almost 16 now and the last time she seen her father was at 9 years old. He has made only a few attempts throughout the 6 years to contact her (sending cards and a few emails to myself) while in between his arrests for drugs and domestic voilence not with myself. He has never paid child support and I have never asked for it. My daughter is upset at her dad for not paying her as she is almost 16 and is looking towards saving for her future. As much as it is painful to watch, my daughter rarely talks about her father I know deep down inside it is painful for her to have a father out there that can not be a responsible part of society. It has taken me a great deal of strenght to overcome the feelings of responsibity for his actions. In the end I believe I made the best decision for my family. I believe a parent should support their children willingly without force. I hear so many women saying " my ex owes me thousands of $$ in support" and they are in and out of court while dragging the children around for the emotional life alterering ride. This will impact them forever. I was one of those children! I will continue to support my daughter throughout her journey in this great life. I hope other single mothers out there share the same opinion.

Tiffany - posted on 05/06/2010

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Thanks everyone for all of your advice and well wishes! I hadn't even realized that I needed to file for custody! It's crazy how things work!

THANKS AGAIN!!!

Tiffany - posted on 05/05/2010

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being on the birth certificate makes no difference. i didn't put my sons father on his b.c....and now im being forced to pursue support in order to stay under sub-sidezed housing.

i do not have to file for custody of my son either (but i am for safety issues and freedom to travel).

you can file for everything, and yes, you may need a paternity test, but here, if the father requests it, he has to pay for it.

Kekua - posted on 05/05/2010

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ok I only skimmed all the other posts but I didn't see anyone else mention this:

you will not get child support. he is not on the birth certificate therefore he is not "legally" the father and has no responsibility to said child. so first you'd have to establish paternity. And file custody and etc.etc.etc. what everyone else said.

If I were you I'd really weigh everything out and decide whether all of that is worth whatever you may or may not get from him considering that he doesn't work. Also keep in mind that many child support agencies will not take more than xx% from a father's paycheck so if he does get a job but doesn't make much, you still may not even get anything. sucks but ...

Tiffany - posted on 05/04/2010

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hi there,

im not sure where abouts you live, however im in canada and im just starting the process of full custody but no support. i wouldn't have bothered, but if i ever want to take my children across the border, i need to have court papers to prove they are mine, otherwise, it is assumed joint custody and a signature needs to be provided by their dad.

in canada, custody and support are two different things, so you can do either or, or both. the whole rights thing..he would have to rebuttle/fight for rights. seems like you have the upper hand so far! lol...any documentations/evidence you have of his behaviours will help you as well.

i say get full custody. even though he is out of your life at the moment, with a past history of violence, and without anything on paper, he has rights to pick up your child from daycare/school, come around, etc. better safe than sorry.

as for adoption, i believe (not sure) that in order for an adoption to take place, the biological parent must sign over all rights.

good luck!!

Heather - posted on 05/02/2010

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I would suggest to file child support.. I have been through this 2 times now and i have won both cases here in california. I have full custody of my kids and love it that way.. so please go get custody , cause you never know what he can do later... whether you get the child support or not file for it . its there right to pay and if they dont work , it will just stack up on them in the long run... protect the kids and then yourself....

Nancy - posted on 05/02/2010

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Emotional support and financial support are two different things.

Since your outcome to this situation is to remarry and have your child adopted by your new husband someday and the sperm donor is not on the birth certificate and has not financial or emotional support to offer, you have already answered your question. Don't complicate something that GOD has already set-up for you, your better off. Chin up and look to the future!

Linda - posted on 04/26/2010

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I don't mean to get on you,but did you know from the begin that all them children,and that he wasn't doing for any of them before you got with,that's the thing that we never wonna understand,we fell when the guy with us we tell us all the bad things about the person he was with before us,and we start looking at that person like shit,but when the table change,now we're that ex we have a lot to say,if you find a men that not taking care of children that he have chances are he wont take of yours,but you might get some child support for your son,just make sure you have proof that he's a violent person

Lydia - posted on 04/26/2010

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Regardless of the father's derogatory statements, those should not deflect on the results of this matter. After all, your son has rights to lawful inheritance with regards to genetics, of course. You still carry this obligation for the child to make efforts in associating with him. Keep a good track record of the events that take place throughout the childs course of life. It's up to the father to make derivative actions. But, don't alienate from a mother's insight and guidelines in protecting your son's life. Lay those guidelines down with the father so he understands his mistakes. His parental rights are now unmanageable if he cannot discuss things with you on an adult level..... Good luck to you and the child's future. There are many possibilities out there for single-income mothers......

Tina - posted on 04/26/2010

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I never filed for child support and my son's biological father is married to his ex-girlfriend and they have 3 kids of there own. He flat out told me that he wanted nothing to do with my son and that he will not pay child support. His parents have tried to reason with him but he will not do it. But that is ok with me because he is a lousy father and he is a drinker, liar and an abuser to his wife and kids.
My son is way better off with out him. My son's biological fathers name is not on the birth certificate. I went to a lawyer and asked if she would draw up some papers saying that my son's father was to give up all his parental rights. She said that she really could not do anything about it because his name is not on the birth certificate so i had nothing to worry about unless he took me to court. Which he wont do because he is a cheapskate and lazy. So I really do not think that that you have anything to worry about but just in case I would go and talk to lawyer. You do what you think is right for you and your baby. Good Luck and I hope everything turns out for you in the end

Stephanie - posted on 04/24/2010

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A man doesn't just get visitation because he pays child support. And doesn't have to pay child support to get visitation. Trust me on this, get full legel and physical custudy, and child support. I got custudy first, but he left his job and the state when he got his support papers. For 5 years he now he hasn't used his social security number.

Rebekah - posted on 04/24/2010

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I live in chicago. My childs father is the same way. I had the same questions you had. Till I called the state to ask all the questions you had. They told me that child support and visitation are two seperate cases. He would have to take you back to court to get visitation. Which my childs father would NEVER spend his time or money to do that. In terms of birth cert. they will do a dna test before you go to court. Then if he wants to be put on the birth cert he will have to pay to be put on. Just because he is proven the father does not mean that he will be on it. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask!

Kelly - posted on 04/24/2010

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Okay here's the thing on this, you want to file for custody and child support. My ex found out I filed for child support and since we didn't have any kind of custody order, he went the baby sitter and took my son! Just thinking about this tears me up, I mean I got him back the next day. He was emotionally abusive could be physically. Before you do anything I would suggest that you find out what your state/county you live in favors, the county I live in favors 50/50 custody it doesn't matter if the other parent is lousy or not. For example my ex had my son for the weekend, and I got a call that Saturday night from a friend saying that he is drunk and choked slammed his girlfriend against the wall (his gf happens to be my bf's sister) so I got there as soon as I could because while he went to jail he left my son in the garage with a bunch of drunks, my bf's parents were there, so they told the cops that I was on my way. When I got there I found out that he was holding my son while he choked his gf. But here's the kicker the court doesn't care they don't want to hear about that, they don't want to hear that he moved her and her son in there while me and my son were still living there. They don't want to hear about the abuse, they think that your trying to alienate the other parent from the child. IT'S CRAZY I KNOW! I WORRY EVERY TIME MY SON IS GONE! So, I suggest to do your research and find out how it goes where you are, because it's like this in a lot of place's. Now, if he isn't seeing the child at all right now and doesn't want to, see about getting him to sign his right's over, or wait a while of him not seeing him, to file for sole custody. But do your research in my opinion child support is not worth losing your son, or risking the father having time with him if he's not fit! IT'S NOT WORTH IT!

Betsey - posted on 04/23/2010

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I agree with the posts that state you need to file for full legal custody first and foremost...they will ask you when you file what you want to file for: custody, child support, visitation, insurance coverage for your child etc. You can state that you want custody because your child's father is not involved and you believe he would be violent if he were to be involved. You can also state you want to file for child support, whether or not you think you'd get any, so that it will accrue at least the minimum amount until he ever gets a job and files a tax return then they can give you the money from it. My son's father was not involved at the time of my son's birth and had told me he "was not going to be around" and was going to leave the state. I told the Child Support Enforcement office (New Jersey)all of this when I filed and they did not make me prove it, they only asked for his address to send him notice of the hearing. They also suggested I request insurance coverage for my son on the child support order so I did. That means when he got a job he had to put my son on his policy. They did not mark anything off on the child support order for visitation, since I didn't expect him to want it; they just left it blank. So techically he has no visitation rights; but he eventually came to his senses when my son was 4 and decided he wanted to be a father then. He had to contact me through my attorney and wrote me a couple of letters; I thought it over good and hard before I let him meet my son. Of course he had no history of violence though, just being a jerk. So I allow him to visit and my son to visit him but the visitation order has never actually been put in and I still have full custody. I would try to get some free legal advice from a family lawyer in regards to his history of violence. You want to keep your child safe. It is much better to have the law on your side as far as custody is concerned and it doesn't hurt to have child support accruing. If he denies paternity and you have the test done and the child is definitely his, he has to pay which is also a bonus. Good luck!!

Denise - posted on 04/23/2010

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I feel the same way about my ex-husband.



YOU HAVE TO APPLY FOR FULL LEGAL CUSTODY OF YOUR SON FIRST on the grounds that your son's father is an unfit parent & violent toward the both of you!



EVERY child needs a father. You can ask for supervised visitation access upon proving he is unfit & violent towards your SON.



I opted for NO FINANCIAL TIES (a mistake!). You SHOULD get him to pay legal child support via MoneyGram or Western Union (keep ALL receipts) because the older your son gets, the more difficult it will be for you financially (as well as emotionally & mentally)...

Sarah - posted on 04/23/2010

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i agree with everyone that has made comments and u might want to check with css and a lawyer that gives free advise to get any and all questions u might have answered as if he tries to pull anything u can have all your bases covered

Ebiere - posted on 04/23/2010

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i am a single mom now and i want to take the custody of the children what are the likely question and things i need to know about this

Monica - posted on 04/23/2010

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First check to see what the state you live in laws are, and it sounds like you have enough that qualifies him as unfit parent. GOOD LUCK

Sarahkaye - posted on 04/22/2010

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Your ex sounds like mine (though my daughter is the only child he helped make). If you file for child support, they will put his name on the birth certificate. I have full legal custody of my daughter, and dictate if he gets to see her or not (he doesn't have any interest as it is). The only thing is that my ex doesn't even pay me the child support, which it sounds like you are in the same boat. Filing for child support against him doesn't give him any rights to your son. It could go either way for the custody/visitation. If you need the money, then I say go for it. If not, then I don't suggest it. Depending on where you live, he doesn't have any rights right now as it is, especially not being on the birth certificate. Hope that helps!

Kim - posted on 04/22/2010

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As has been said, child support and visitation are completely separate. Filing for child support will not give him any more rights as a father, and even if you don't get anything now it will accrue (with interest), and if someday he gets his crap together and wants to buy a house or something he will have to pay you. You will also get his yearly tax return money (if he files) automatically. If he is not on the birth certificate they may order a paternity test (just a cotton swab on the inside of the cheek).
You can do all of this without a lawyer or paying anything out of pocket (at least you can in Oregon). Contact your local DHS office and they will tell you what to do.
If he wants visitation he will have to initiate a custody case with you through the court and that will require him to invest time and money it doesn't sound like he will do that, my ex certainly won't!
I only get child support spoaradically so I don't budget for it but I can't tell you how nice it is to get a little extra once in awhile. It allows me to do something special for my daughter or buy something extra for our home.
I think you should do it

Kristin - posted on 04/22/2010

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First you need to file for physical and legal custody. Ask for a temporary order when you file so you have something right away. Your son is entitled to child support and yes you should file for it regardless if you think you are going to get it or not. You will also have to file to prove paternity since he did not sign the birth certificate. Your state should have a family law facilitator that can give free advice about adoption and him relinquishing his rights also. You can ask for no visitation as well. Just be as prepared as you can when you go to court. Try to keep emotion out of it and just state facts. Best of luck!

Autumn - posted on 04/21/2010

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Candice is absolutely right. Child support and visitation no matter what state you are in are totally seperate issues. Hoever, if you play by the rules, file, and he falls behind, it's going to be much more difficult for him to get a judge to be sympathetic. Since there is a history of violence, there may be the possibility of not filing because of that. Check with you child support office regarding the laws where you reside. Document EVERYTHING, and definitely consult with an attorney. I'm kind of in the same situation. Good luck.

Candice - posted on 04/21/2010

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whether you file for support or not, he can, at any time, ask for a paternity test and visitation or custody. filing, however, may piss him off and speed up the process.

i know in canada (can't speak for anywhere else) that custody and child support are totally seperate issues. one does not guarantee the other. but if he does fight you, at minimum he will probably get unsupervised visitation at some point (unless he has a record of violence or drugs that can be proven, but even then he will probably get supervised visitation which may eventually turn into unsupervised).

Shaquincia - posted on 04/21/2010

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To begin with you will have to prove everything you are saying in court,i have been there and tried that,and the biological father would have to want to give up his so that your future husband can adoptAnd he doesnt pay a thing for my four.The only way they will deny him visitation rights is if he has had history of violant behavior,like a jail time record proving what you are saying.Just think long and hard about what you are up against not many court systems work the way you want them to work.its like they only get involve when somethong goes bad,so if you do decide and them give him rights anytime he acts up or calls you talking crazy record your conversations and get the police involved to have statments to take him back to courteven now you can start,it will work out better for you,i know we sometimes we dont want to invovle the police but it will help your case:)

Stephanie - posted on 04/21/2010

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if he doesnt work, youre not going to get anything....

yes he can be forced to pay support without being awarded visitation or custody, but if he says he wants it, he will likely get it...

im in the same boat, i will not be filing support because its not worth getting no money (mine doesnt work either), and him having the opportunity to see her...

in order for someone else to legally adopt him, even without his name on the bc you still need to have him sign his rights over or be terminated (at which point you lose your child support, if any)....

in my personal opinion, its not worth opening the can of worms with the potential for visitation since hes leaving us alone for the time being to file for child support that i wont recieve anyways (since he doesnt work).... hth

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