Raye - posted on 08/14/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )
To all mothers that are wondering what rights the father has to your child:
Even if you live in a state that grants custody to the mother of a child born out of wedlock (which is not every state/country), the father may still have rights for visitation or partial custody should he petition the court for such rights... whether or not his name is on the birth certificate. If it can be proven he is the biological father, he may be granted rights.
You should speak to a lawyer to find out the laws in your area and get a court order confirming you have custody. Having custody and visitation orders in place will allow each parent to know what their responsibilities are within the law.
Your personal feelings may be clouding your judgment and you may not be in the right frame of mind to know what's right for your child. What's better for you may not be what's better for your child. Since children cannot advocate for themselves, the parent must sometimes put aside personal wants and feelings to be a good parent. The court tries to be an impartial advocate for what is in the child's best interest.
A child is not property to be rented out to the father for goods, services, or money... meaning that just because the father doesn't buy diapers or hasn't shown up for three months doesn't mean you can keep the child from him. If you need financial help, file for child support. It is a separate thing, legally and morally, from custody and visitation. However, just because you file for it doesn't mean you will receive child support. Whether or not he pays still has no bearing on the father's rights to visitation.
If the father poses a danger to the child, petition the court to enforce supervised visitation or have his visitation revoked. Do not take it upon yourself to alienate the father from his child. You may not be morally wrong for removing the child from a bad situation. But, make it legal so you don't risk having a judge rule against YOU for parental alienation. There have been mothers who have lost custody because they did not act legally and withheld children from the father. You have to have evidence that the father poses a danger to the child's wellbeing. The court will make a ruling based on the evidence provided. And you must abide by the court's decision.
Think about this... if you have no legal custody order, the police will not help you. The father could come and steal the child from you, and the police could do nothing because there's no court order to enforce. The child would be hostage by the father for as long as it would take you to go through the courts to get the child back. In his mind, you may have been holding the child hostage against him, and he's just trying to get his due. If no custody order is in place, the child is 50/50 yours and his, so it would be your word against his on what your personal agreement was for custody. And the court may rule in the father's favor. If custody and visitation is decided right away upon the parents separation and made legal by court order, then everyone knows what their rights are and are less likely to create a serious domestic situation.
If orders are in place, and evidence can prove that the situation has changed, you can always go back to court to have the orders modified. Having it arranged in court is a protection for all parties, not a punishment. Be a responsible parent and legally protect your child.