help with family court,would like some advice or imput

Angela - posted on 12/16/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi.I am new to the board but could use a little advice.I have an 8year old daughter and her father has never been on her birth certificate.This was because he didn't want to be responsible for child support.I left him when she was about 3 1/2. She has always resided with me.We have never went to court for custody/visitation.I do NOT want to keep her from him.I think that is wrong.We always agreed that he would have one day a week and every other weekend.its been like that for about five years.I left because of verbal abuse and we didn't get along.I have been trying to have a decent relationship with him for the sake of our daughter.but for the past year or so he wants her more often and on "my" days etc.He drops her off at my home between 5-530 amwhen he has her overnight for work.lets her stay up very late.has no rules at his home and even lets her (at 8 yrs old) sleep in his bed! I have told him that I find this inappropriate.he claims I am being small minded! despite that I have never stopped visits.However, he just picked her up from school without telling me or getting my consent! refused to return her all weekend or let me know where she was.when I finally called the cops they said they can do nothing about it! I was shocked! I am her mom.hes not even on a single piece of paperwork! however, I believe I need to go to family court.I would just like some imput as to what I should expect? can I lose her to him? does he have a good chance of taking custody?we live in new York if that helps. I do NOT want to lose my child so I am kind of panicked as to whether or not should I file.but I am tired of him pushing me around to always get what he wants and not caring about my plans or my time with her.So any advice would be greatly appreciated.and if I file should I stop visits until court?? Thank you.sorry it was so long.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/16/2013

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File custody & support.

It is the only legal way to go. As it stands, since there are no orders, and he can prove that he is her father by means of simple DNA test, the police can't do anything, nor can anyone else.

Jodi - posted on 12/16/2013

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Just because he isn't on the birth certificate doesn't mean he has no rights and doesn't mean he doesn't have to pay child support. If he led you to believe that meant no child support, then you have been totally misled. You can indeed file for child support because a DNA establishes paternity.

Now, with regard to him just taking her, yep, right now, he has that legal right and the police absolutely can't do anything. If you had court orders establishing custody and visitation, then they could have. Right now, he could take your child and not give her back and there isn't a damn thing you could do about it. The school can't do anything about who picks her up either, unless you have a court order spelling out his arrangements.

You need to file to establish custody and visitation immediately, if not for yourself, to protect your daughter's rights.

[deleted account]

You do need to go through family court to establish custody and visitation orders.

Right now, you both have equal rights to the child. He can keep her as long as he likes as long as you both agree that he is the biological father.
It doesn't matter whether he is on the birth certificate or not. Also, on a side note, not having his name on the birth certificate does NOT relieve him from child support responsibilities either. His name does not have to be on the birth certificate to you to file for child support against him, nor does it have to be on there to protect his rights as a father. It is basically on there only to establish a medical history, legally, it means very, very little.

You have very little to worry about in regards to losing custody of your daughter to him. The court usually likes to keep the child in the custody of the parent she has been living with all along unless the other parent can prove it is in the best interest of the child to change households. Also, the fact that he is withholding your daughter from you now will reflect poorly on his character, which plays a big part in the judge's decisions.

If you can afford one, hire an attorney.
Get all of your evidence together and neatly compiled. Print ALL of your emails and screen shots of text conversations and put them in chronological order. This will establish the fact that you have been the custodial parent, and that you have been cooperative and proactive in establishing a relationship between the child and her father. It will also show where he has been withholding her from you. A well organized portfolio will also prove that you are serious about your daughter's welfare. This will reflect well on your character.
If there are any police reports, records, etc. that can be used against him, get copies of those to submit as well.

Kimberly - posted on 12/16/2013

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Hi Angela, I live in New Jersey and I was told by Family Court that when you have a child and you are not married to to the father that neither has custody that I had to apply for that. It made no sense to me than or now, But i did apply and have physical custody of my children.I suggest you do the same because with out a court order you don't have much to go on. I hope this helped Good Luck!!!!!!

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