No help from father. Need advice.

Paige - posted on 11/11/2015 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My sons father recently got a girlfriend a few months back and started to change in bad ways. Now he wants nothing to do with he's son how do I get he's last name changed to mine. He's fathers name is on the birth certificate. And he hasn't helped me with nothing in almost 9 months now. What do I do.

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Raye - posted on 11/12/2015

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I wasn't trying to be mean, just matter of fact. The father does have rights to his child, and the child has rights to BOTH parents. As Sarah said, there are many women that feel that they can just decide to strip fathers of their rights because they want to. And we're just trying to point out that it's ILLEGAL to do that. Many have gotten away with it for years because the fathers are uninterested or just don't know their rights. But getting away with it doesn't make it right. If the father can prove parental alienation to the court, the child could be permanently taken away from the mother and given to the father. As Michelle pointed out, without court orders the father could turn up at ANY time and take the child and not give it back. It is not kidnapping if custody was never established in court. The police can only help to enforce court orders. It's a protection for all.

If the father truly wants to stay out of his child's life, then he will not fight the mother's petition for sole custody. If he is awarded visitation and chooses not to show up, then that's his choice. It's not the mother's job to chase him down and force him. She just legally must make the child available during those visitation times when/if the father decides he does want to be involved, even if he shows up once a year. If he all of a sudden decides he wants to be really involved and have 50/50 or primary custody, he must petition the court and demonstrate how that would be in the child's best interests, and the judge would rule based on testimony from both parents and what the judge feels is best for the child. That's the process.

Child support and custody/visitation are separate issues. A mother should never expect the father to buy/pay out of the kindness of his heart. Some will, many won't. You take his ass to court and file for support. It is the father's responsibility to contribute financially to his child whether or not he has custody/visitation. Although the amount of support the court will award is tied to the amount of time given to each parent as part of the custody/visitation agreement, if he is unable to pay it does not entitle the mother to keep the child from the father and hold it for ransom. If he doesn't pay, she can report him to the courts. He may get his driver's license revoked, he may get jail time (which would prevent him from seeing the child during that time). But there is a process to follow and people can't legally take this into their own hands and do what FEELS right.

In answer to the original question, changing the baby's name accomplishes nothing. But the PROCESS is: She needs to go to court, and the father must consent to the change. Or she must convince the judge that the name change is in the best interests of the child. Having the father listed on the birth certificate may give the child rights to benefits (such as financial and medical support, Social Security, veteran’s benefits and inheritance) from the father's side. Child support is usually only awarded if paternity has been established from having the father listed on the BC or by DNA test. Since the father can still get his name on the BC by taking the DNA test, there's absolutely no reason not to have it on there from the beginning.

In answer to the question regarding threats the father may have made, yes the father still has rights to the child, and the child still has rights to their father. In many cases, the father can have previously beat the mother bloody and still have rights to the child. Verbal or physical abuse to the mother is not an indicator of how he will treat his child. Unless the mother can prove in court to the judge's satisfaction that he is a danger TO THE CHILD, then he may still be awarded visitation or supervised visitation. Each judge is different, so we can't say whether it will be easy to convince the judge, but it's still legally the judge's decision. The mother can't legally withhold the child from it's father without court orders.

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2015

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I'm not saying he deserves to be a father (although, let's face it, he is the child's father, regardless fo wofhat you think of him.). I'm saying that you don't just suddenly change a kid's name because the father isn't doing the right thing. That's playing games. Obviously YOU agreed to putting his name on the birth certificate in the first place. Now you change your mind because the guy isn't doing what you expected him to do. Yes, it is immature for changing the child's name to be your first reaction to deciding what the father deserves or doesn't deserve. Deflecting blame to the father (because clearly he is a total ass, based on the information you didn't give in your FIRST post) to justify you changing the child's name doesn't make you right.

As I said, if you have grievances about custody, visitation and child support, take the adult route. Don't get bogged down by this "dad doesn't deserve the child to have his name" bullshit.

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2015

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"So I should let him be there after he said he hopes me and my child dies? Mmm. K."

Sorry, your initial question was about changing the child's name, NOT whether he has a right to see the child. If you don't like the answers you get, maybe you should provide ALL the information. This is the first time you even mentioned that little gem - but yes, he still has rights unless you can provide EVIDENCE he is a danger to the child.

"Everyone is getting a bit mean here."

I wouldn't say mean. I'd say telling it like it is. Why should we sugar coat reality?

Sarah - posted on 11/11/2015

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I don't think that being mater of fact is the same as being mean. I read dozens of posts just like this one. Either a single mom thinks by leaving the father off the BC makes the baby her own property to do with what she pleases or by changing the last name she can eliminate the person who is 50% responsible for the creation of the child.
Whether you like the guy or not, whether is he a dead beat or not, he is the father. You picked him to be your sexual partner and created a baby therefore you are equally entitled to parent the child and equally obligated to provide for the child for the next 18 years. If you don't want him in your child's life you have to get a judge to agree with you

Michelle - posted on 11/11/2015

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It's always recommended to have court orders in place. Without them there is nothing stopping the Father coming and getting the child and not giving him back. Without the legal documents you can't charge him with kidnapping as he has just as much right as the Mother to have the child.

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Stephanie - posted on 11/12/2015

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My advice to you is this...court orders are a must so do an emergency interm custody order NOW don't wait then you have control of your child..cause he can come get the child if there's not one in place and make your life hell...been there it's not fun. Once u do that move on with your life and find love for yourself and pay him no attention..if he decodes eventually that he wants to be a part of the child's life it will be on your terms..but the longer u wait to do this order he could do one and he could take your child..it's a scary reality that almost happened to me so please do this today if you can it's easy to do just go to the courthouse and ask them what you need to do and if he's threatening you and you have proof the order will go through quick

Ev - posted on 11/11/2015

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Paige--
These ladies have given you the same advice over and over. You either make the choice to go to court and get it sorted or you continue as you are. But legally, you can not change the child's name without the father's input into the situation and you can not make him loose his rights unless he is proven to be a danger to the child. Until it goes to court, you are stuck in this endless cycle. Also, what made you think he would help with the child without a support order in place?

Emma - posted on 11/11/2015

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Yes the child has the right to his father's name. Yes the father has the right to that title. BUT if the father isn't actually being a father? Unfortunately there is nothing you can really do except go for sole custody and hope the father comes around. In the mean time all you can do is shower your child with all the love it needs. Everyone is getting a bit mean here. Personally the father to my child was given ample opportunities to be involved but refused all. He has another child only a short distance away that is involved. The only option I have is to be the best parent I can and keep my head high. As you should. Be proud of you and all you are trying to teach your child. Changing the name might let you feel like you have the power back but it doesn't really. Your power is in you teaching your child that it is loved and needed and wanted despite all that is happening at the minute. Forget courts and lawyers and remember that you are raising a person that needs reassurance and that is what will get you through. Hope this helps x x

Michelle - posted on 11/11/2015

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The other ladies have told you what you need to do.
YOU don't have the right to decide if the Father gets to be involved in his child's life, that's for the courts to decide.
Changing your child's last name doesn't mean anything, he's still the child's Father. A last name doesn't change the DNA.
Get yourself a lawyer and sort out custody, visitation and child support.

Dove - posted on 11/11/2015

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Unless the court strips him of his rights... yes. This isn't YOUR call to make. Unless you have a court order stating otherwise.. he has as much right to your child as you do. That's just reality.

If he is a danger to your child... you go to court and prove it. You asked 'what do I do?' Well... that IS what you do. So do it.

Raye - posted on 11/11/2015

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Mmm... Yes. He said that to hurt you, and would probably never do anything to physically harm you or his child. If you truly fear for your child's life, ask the court for him to have supervised visitation. Then a third-party must be present to evaluate his interaction with the child.

Paige - posted on 11/11/2015

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So I should let him be there after he said he hopes me and my child dies? Mmm. K.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/11/2015

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Stop playing games with your CHILD. This is a human being, not a possession.

If you DO have court orders for custody, visitation, etc, abide by them. If not, FILE FOR SOME.

Changing the child's name is a childish reaction to your ex's new girlfriend and behaviour. Oh...it also requires court intervention, you cannot just do it 'because'. You have to file a petition, give everyone a chance to respond, and have a judge make the decision.

Dove - posted on 11/11/2015

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If you have a court order for custody, visitation, and child support... you do nothing.

If you do NOT have a court order for custody, visitation, and child support... you go to court to get one. If there is proof of any abuse or drug use... you have your lawyer present that in court and you push for supervised visitations.

It doesn't matter that he hasn't helped you in 9 months... NOTHING will erase the fact that this man is his father... and it's not your place to try and erase that fact. Changing your child's name will do nothing.. and since he IS the biological father... he has every right to be on the birth certificate.

Yes, you are being immature about this. Does he suck? Seems like it, but he is still the father of your child and your SON has rights here.

Raye - posted on 11/11/2015

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Your child is also HIS child whether you want that to be true or not. Changing the child's name will not change anything else. It will not make the child more "yours". Go to court. File for custody. File for child support. Then do your best to raise that child. The CHILD has rights to have the father in his life if the father decides to be there for him. If there's no court orders outlining who has custody and what the other parent is allowed for visitation, then the father could take the child, not give him back, and be legally able to do that. Once the court orders are in place, then the police would be able to help enforce any violation of those orders.

You're angry, and rightly so. But don't punish your child because you made a bad choice of sex partner. Once that life is brought into the world, it's not only about YOUR wants anymore. It's about the needs of the child, and the legal rights of ALL... child and BOTH parents.

Sarah - posted on 11/11/2015

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I agree with Jodi. Your are angry and have every right to be, so file for support and sole custody. What would happen if he completely turned around, got clean, made amends and was a terrific role model for your child? Then what?

Paige - posted on 11/11/2015

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My immature games? Seriously okay I'm immature but yet he's out doing heroin, Meth and pills but can't spare a few bucks on diapers or wipes or milk or juice. Then goes months on end with no contact to see how my son is. He doesn't deserve to be a father. Let alone have my son have he's last name my fiance has been there more for my son then he's own father. But Im immature Lol

Jodi - posted on 11/11/2015

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So....because the father hasn't helped you with anything, you want to punish him by changing the child's last name. That's really mature of you.........

Here's what you SHOULD do. You file for custody and visitation orders, and also for child support. Go through the legal channels. That's what adults do. Please don't play that other ridiculously immature game.

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