Does he have a say so?

Victoria - posted on 01/30/2013 ( 22 moms have responded )

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So my daughter is three months old has my last name i'm not married to her possible father or anything i was wondering does he have any say in court?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/31/2013

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Oh, honey, I wish you the best of luck, but you really need to talk to an attorney. Because the cold, hard truth of the matter is that YOU don't set limits on visitation, the courts do. And if the courts say that he gets to take the baby to his mother's for an overnight stay, you'd better comply, or they WILL consider removing the baby from your custody.

That's why I say be an adult about the situation. The alleged arrest (I say alleged because I am not privy to the facts, therefore cannot prove he was in jail or not) really won't affect a visitation/custody agreement much as long as he's complying with court orders in his sentencing and post legal activities. And you screaming "No jackass is taking MY baby" is only going to get you laughed out of court.

Jen - posted on 01/31/2013

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Victoria - You asked for advice, but you are convinced you already know the answers, even though almost everyone here is telling you differently. Why did you even ask?

As for being discrete, I doubt the posters were concerned about whether you cheated on your boyfriend, as much as they were concerned about the fact that you apparently had unprotected sex with two different men in a very short period of time, which is not a very healthy thing to do.

As for the father, whichever man it is, he has rights. He may never decide he wants to see your daughter, so I guess you can hope that's what happens. However, if he does come forward, he can demand a paternity test, and a court will likely grant him visitation if he asks for it. He can do that at any time - even years down the road. If he has a drug problem, you could try to have him stripped of his rights, but that's not something the courts will do lightly. I don't think you have to change your daughter's last name if you don't want to, but if the biological father proves paternity he will have a right to be on the birth certificate and you have no say over that.

I'm sorry that your ex-boyfriend is such a jerk, but the reality is you made a baby with him, and that means you may have to deal with him in the future. It's better to face that reality and deal with it appropriately than to live in denial.

Dove - posted on 01/31/2013

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Ditto Jodi and Shawnn entirely (that makes my post a lot shorter). Hopefully you aren't in for a rude awakening very soon. Granted, I WAS married, but my ex didn't even see his kids for a year and a half and the ONLY reason we don't have joint custody right now is because he lives too far away to make it practical. Judges don't, generally, like to keep kids away from either of their parents and don't like it when one parent tries to keep the kids away from the other parent.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/31/2013

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Victoria, whether you like it or not, you had sex with someone, a child resulted that is the product of both of you. The child's biological father DOES have every right to petition for paternity testing, and upon proof of paternity he then has the right to petition for visitation/custody arrangements, just as you at that point have the right to petition for child support.

And, whether you like it or not, hearsay and rumor is not going to help you. I don't care how many of your mother's friends tell you that you don't have to give the man any rights to the baby, but unless they are in family services, or the legal system, they don't know what they're talking about.

Furthermore, should he petition to test, and prove paternity, and you subsequently deny him access to his child, you run the risk of having the child removed from your care and placed in his.

Be an adult. Get the paternity test, and make the first move by offering visitation. And, I agree with Jodi...You should probably be more discreet

Lacye - posted on 01/31/2013

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Here's how it's going to go. You can listen to the advice that you asked for or you can just get off here and keep pretending like you know everything.

1. The child's father has the right to petition for a DNA test if he believes he is the father. If he is proven to be the father, he can not only petition to receive visitation, but he can also have the child's last name changed to his, whether you like it or not. If a judge says that's what's going to happen, no matter how much of a temper tantrum you throw it's going to happen.

2. It doesn't look good on his part that he is a drug addict, but the court system is still going to give him the chance to see his child. That is not only his right to see his child, but it's the child's right to see his father. It sucks but that's life. If you deny him access after he takes you to court, YOU will be the one in trouble. Not him. You will not only be held for contempt of court but you could also lose your child.

3. Instead of listening to rumors from your mother's friends, you need to do some research on your state's laws. What do they say?

4. And lastly, if he is proven to be the father of your child, you will have no choice but to put his name on the birth certificate. As I said, that might suck, but that's called life.

In all reality, you need to grow up. Stop acting like a child being stingy with your favorite toy. That child is not your personal property. You did not make that child by yourself. The father of that child has every right to him as you do. You are the one that chose to have sex with the guy, now you need to suck it up and face the consequences.

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22 Comments

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Angela - posted on 02/01/2013

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I'm from England. In the UK, a child born out of wedlock has only one legal relative - his mother. Many fathers are happy to give their children their name and to sign birth certificates. An unmarried female can't put a man's name in the "father" section of the birth certificate unless that man is with her when the child's birth is registered. Some fathers will happily sign to have their name on the birth certificate, but the couple may both still want the child to have the mother's surname. The mother has the RIGHT to choose her own name for the child's surname - even if the father is willing to sign as being the father.

If you're unmarried, the "father" part of the birth certificate must be left blank if the father is not with you when the birth is registered. If you're married and at the time of the child's birth you've been married for less than 9 months, they won't put your husband down as the child's father unless he's with you to confirm he's the father.

Unwed mothers without financial support need to claim state benefit. They now insist on knowing who the child's father is and want the mother to claim some child support. Sometimes a mother can truthfully say she doesn't know who the father is. UK law don't usually insist on DNA tests in the absence of a candidate for fatherhood. Any man who suspects he's a child's father can get DNA tests done of his own volition - if he is interested in doing so - but this costs money.

A friend of mine got pregnant to a guy who was already father to a couple of kids and living with their mother. He stayed with the mother of the older children because my friend decided NOT to set up home with him (although she had the chance) - he and his other partner KNEW he was the child's father. As the years went by it suited this man and his partner (whom he married about 3 years later) to be telling people that my friend's little boy was NOT his son. My friend got a bit tired of this. She consulted with a lawyer and arranged DNA tests. Against the father's wishes (not to mention his wife's!) that child ended up with a full birth certificate with the names of BOTH parents on it.

The fact is, most deadbeat fathers who don't wish to support their children financially, often don't wish to support them emotionally either. If the mother is obstructive to the guy, he can get legal action started but it's going to cost him money.

Finally, wherever in the world you live, you can avoid this .... Just don't let your ex see you around during your pregnancy when you're obviously expecting AND keep your distance when your child is small. If he doesn't know you're pregnant in the first place and you manage to find somewhere to live in an area many miles away, he's not going to bother you!!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/01/2013

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Yep, ditto on Dove and Layce!

We were not condescending nor judgemental. But, when the OP starts acting like a spoiled child ("I'm not losing my baby to a jackass") and disregarding any and all advice given by women who've BEEN THERE....well, then we tend to be even more blunt.

Lacye - posted on 02/01/2013

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And another thing, Karen, she knew he was a drug dealer before she got pregnant by him. So no, I don't feel sorry for her on that one either. If that particular dude is the father. And even if he is, it's his right as the child's father to be in the child's life, druggie or not.

Lacye - posted on 02/01/2013

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Call me mean and condescending all you want to, but I'm laying it out as honestly and nicely as possible. I'm not going to sugar coat something like this, especially when she answers to the advice that was given that she didn't like that she was going to keep the child away from its father anyways even if the law says she's wrong. And here's a little hint, neither are the other women.

I don't wish this girl luck. I wish her help. There's a difference. She needs help dealing with the fact that she had a child with a not so great guy. She needs help finding out who the father of the child actually is. She needs help dealing with the consequences for the choices she made. The sad thing is, I don't see any of these things happening with any type of good intentions.

Dove - posted on 02/01/2013

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Karen, how would it be nice to lie to this girl and tell her that her baby will never have to be with the father and that she gets to call all the shots? That would be setting her up for a potentially HUGE shock. We are trying to prepare her for what very well could be her reality. Sounds pretty nice to me. ;)

[deleted account]

In my opinion, legal or not, he has MORAL rights to his child. More importantly, a child has the right to know her biological father. But that's just my opinion. Whoever told you he has no rights probably meant he doesn't have any LEGAL rights as of RIGHT NOW, which is true, and that is only because he is not yet scientifically proven to be the biological father through a DNA test. I think what everyone here is trying to tell you is that ONCE PATERNITY IS OFFICIALLY ESTABLISHED, then yes, he will have all the rights of any other biological parent unless a judge has a good reason to deny any of those rights. But YOU won't legally be able to deny him those rights, and a judge won't deny his rights simply by you stating you don't want your child with him. Even if he does do drugs, that has to be proven to the court and from there it will be at the judge's discretion. So no, in the eyes of the law he has no rights as of yet because the law doesn't recognize him as the father. But the court CAN order DNA testing to establish paternity, which in turn WILL establish his rights.

Karen - posted on 02/01/2013

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I think that a lot of people who have answered, is very judgmental and condescending. Why aren't you nice to this young girl, who is obviously scared and nervous about her future, where she may have to let a drug addict spend time with her baby?

I just want to wish you the best of luck, I hope that everything will work out the way you hope.

Dove - posted on 01/31/2013

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Well if he doesn't WANT to see her... what the heck is the problem? If he doesn't want to see her he 'probably' won't take you to court over it. If he DOES want to see her and DOES take you to court.... you may very well be in for a rude awakening. Good luck.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/31/2013

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Ok, whatever. YOu sound like my oldest son, so you must be 17 or 18. Therefore, since you think you know everything about the situation, you do as you see fit. But don't cry when you find out that you don't know it all...and the baby is sitting at her daddy's house.

Victoria - posted on 01/31/2013

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We are getting one and i didn't cheat me and him broke up and i got with my best friends and one of the people we talked to were from social services and if he is the father the only visitation he will get is coming to my house to see her i'm not losing my baby to a jackass they already know he does drugs he just got arressted 2 weeks ago for it and he has been in and out of court more times then before i met him

Jodi - posted on 01/31/2013

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He will have a say in a lot if he decides to go to court and gets a DNA test. However, in order to change her last name now, he would also have to get that court ordered, and they won't order that because it doesn't matter what her last name is.

And can I just advise that given you don't even know who the father actually is, you probably should, in future, be a little more discreet in your sexual activity.

Victoria - posted on 01/30/2013

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Well my mother and i checked and it stated if she doesn't have his last name, your not married to her father, and he never signed the birth certificete that he doesn't have a say so to anything and if he is her father i'm not changing her last name or letting him sign it

Denikka - posted on 01/30/2013

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Unless he has been stripped of/signed over his rights, he still has them. All he needs is a DNA test proving that he is her biological father.
As a druggie (if you have proof and he is considered a danger to your daughter) he may not get visitation or may only have supervised visitation, but he still has the parental rights that go along with being a biological parent.

[deleted account]

If he is the biological father, he does have rights in court.
It does not matter if you are married or not, or if she has his name or yours, if his DNA matches hers, he has rights to equal custody.

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