Father's Rights during out of state custody battles?

Madison - posted on 05/24/2016 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hello, I'm 25 weeks pregnant with a baby girl, 18 years old. I've lived in between Cincinnati and Missouri for the past few years. I was staying in Cincinnati when I met the father of her and dated him for a brief period of time, I pretty much got pregnant instantly despite being on birth control. When i realized how emotionally abusive and controlling he was I broke things off with him, and moved back to Missouri where my family is. I found out a few weeks after coming back I was 8 weeks pregnant. I called andinformed him that I was pregnant and he said something along the lines of "get an abortion". We didn't talk for weeks and then I got extremley ill with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I informed him I had been hospitalized with no response. Fast forward 5 weeks and they had found my gullbladder needed out. I left him a voicemail telling him I was going to get surgery and this could be a potential risk to the baby-no response. Out of nowhere his girlfriend messaged me on facebook and told me I was faking pregnant. When i showed her evidence that I indeed wasn't, she told me he was going to take me to court for full or split custody as soon as the child was born. Expecting some sort of backlash considering how horrible and spiteful of a human being he is I've saved receipts from everything I've bought for her, and all my medical bills, along with the private insurance I will be paying out of pocket for her as soon as she arrives. What is his chances of getting split custody with him living 800 miles away? How do you think this will all play out? I really don't trust him to care for himself, let alone an infant who he hasn't even bothered to contribute towards.

*I plan to not have him on the birth certificate unless he gets a court ordered paternity test, the harder i make it for him to hurt me or my daughter, the best*

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Jodi - posted on 05/24/2016

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Saving you receipts is unlikely to make a difference to the outcome of a custody hearing. But anyway......

Why would you not put the father on the birth certificate? By doing that just to make it harder for him, you are playing games. Don't start playing games. The baby actually has a right to have her father's name on the birth certificate. You know why? Because let's say something happens to her father. She should have legal rights for inheritance or disability. But if you choose to play this game you are playing, then you are essentially denying your child this in the future.

I'm sorry, but you are going to have to coparent with this man. You don't have to like it. The chances of him getting 50/50 when the child is born and while an infant is slim. But ultimately, he IS the father and he DOES have rights.

The most sensible thing you could do is see a lawyer and start drawing up a custody and visitation order so that when the baby is born, you will be ready to file. This protects everyone's rights, including the rights of your child.

But don't play games. The only person hurt by these games is your child.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/25/2016

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All I can say is this: DO NOT commit fraud by purposely leaving his name off the birth certificate. Since you sound like you're certain he's the baby's father, you need to adult up, Lady.

The kid has TWO biological parents, and just because you were the pregnant one doesn't give you ownership.

Furthermore, by potentially alienating her father, you are potentially hurting the baby by not being adult enough to co parent.

Leslie - posted on 05/25/2016

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It sounds like you need to consult a lawyer and let him/her know everything that has gone on and get real advice on the custody issues. I agree that you should indeed put his name on the birth certificate, as long as you know he is the father your daughter deserves to have his name on it.

It sounds like the current girlfriend is playing games but you never know -- get some real legal advice -- it will be worth it!

Sarah - posted on 05/24/2016

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Especially since you have documented "proof" of your pregnancy and named him the father; you could be charged with document fraud. Not the way you want to start out. Also, all he has to do is petition the court for a DNA test and your will have to produce the child for the test.

Michelle - posted on 05/24/2016

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It's actually fraud to not name the Father is you know who it is. So it's best to name him.
In regards to keeping receipts, custody isn't based on who had paid out more money, your child isn't a possession that is given to whoever pays the most. Your child has a right to a relationship with both of it's parents. You don't have the right to deny that, only a judge does.
Get yourself a lawyer and go to court.

Dove - posted on 05/24/2016

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Be an adult. If you KNOW w/out a doubt that he is her biological father and you keep him off the birth certificate... that is just you being petty and playing games. Your child deserves TWO adult parents...

When the baby is born go to court for custody, visitation, and child support to be all legally established. Given your distance I would 'guess' that it is highly unlikely for him to get joint custody (unless he chooses to move closer to his child's birth residence), but he has every legal and moral right to petition a court for that anyway. Your child deserves to know her father and have whatever relationship possible w/ him. Your choice in sexual partners is not her fault.

Ev - posted on 05/24/2016

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Also, his girlfriend has no say legally in these matters. She does not need to even be in contact with you at all. You need to only be in touch with dad about the baby. I have to agree with the other's on their advice too. Leaving him off intentionally could also be considered fraud too. And depending on the state the child is born in will also decide what state laws will govern the custody of the child too.

Raye - posted on 05/24/2016

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Get custody/visitation and child support all decreed by court order. It really is better in the long run to have it done legally. Definitely keep any evidence that would help you in court, but you being hateful and petty toward the father will not help the situation or your child. You leaving his name off the birth certificate when you know he is the father is just spiteful. If you intentionally try to keep the child from him, the courts would look at those actions very unfavorably (it could be illegal). By doing that, instead of sharing the child that you both made together, you could lose full custody to the father. It has happened to other women who felt justified in their actions, but were acting for their own benefit and not that of the child. The child usually benefits the most having both parents in their lives.

In both Ohio and Missouri, a judge is not supposed to give preference to the mother or father when making decisions regarding child custody or child support. This means that a mother's rights are the same as a father's rights when first brought before the court. Each presents their case, provides evidence, etc. and the judge would rule what they feel is in the best interest of the child. Contributing to the cost of prenatal healthcare can demonstrate a father's commitment to a child, but since he has not done this it may help your case, or it may not. It's up to the judge. Once court orders for custody/visitation are in place, it is a protection so that each parent knows their rights and cannot legally manipulate the other parent. Be prepared that the father will most likely be awarded some kind of visitation. In most cases with a newborn, all visitation will be gradual and near the mother (especially if exclusively breastfeeding). It will be up to a judge to determine who pays for travel, since you moved before birth.

Again, don't be petty. Keep him informed about the progress of the pregnancy. Once the child is born, go to court for custody/visitation and for child support. This is the best thing you can do for your child and to limit manipulation between parents. Then abide by the orders and try to be the best mommy you can be for your child.

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