legal rights- Please help!!

Suzi - posted on 06/17/2010 ( 106 moms have responded )

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I've recently heard that because my daughters father is named on her birth certificate and we havn't been to court over her , he has every legal right i do therefore is able to take her away from me at any time and not bringing her back, is this true and if it is how do i safeguard our family and stop him doing so ??

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Kristina - posted on 06/22/2010

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THIS HAPPENED TO ME!!! HAVING THE FATHER'S NAME ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE CONSTITUTES THAT HE IS THE LEGAL FATHER OF THE CHILD AND THEREFORE GIVES HIM ALL RIGHTS OF A BIOLOGICAL CHILD. WRITE TO THE BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS AND FIND OUT IF THERE IS ANY RECORD OF AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF PATERNITY, THEN I WOULD CONSULT A FAMILY LAWYER AND TRY AND HAVE HIS NAME REMOVED FROM THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!! IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR CHILD!! MY SON WAS TAKEN BY MY EX-BOYFRIEND, WHO IS LISTED ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, BUT HAS NOT BEEN PROVEN TO BE THE CHILD'S BIOLOGICAL FATHER, ON JUNE 23, 2009. THE POLICE COULDN'T HELP ME, THEY WOULDN'T HELP ME. I HAD TO TAKE IT UPON MYSELF TO TRACK DOWN THE WHEREBOUTS OF MY EX, AND GRAB MY SON WHEN HE WAS BEING BABYSAT BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN MY EX. I DIDN'T FINALLY GET MY SON BACK UNTIL FEBRUARY 23, 2010 (EXACTLY 8 MONTHS AFTER HE WAS TAKEN) KIDNAPPING LAWS DON'T APPLY TO THE FATHER LISTED ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE UNLESS YOU HAVE A COURT ORDER STATING HE HAS NO CUSTODIAL RIGHTS OR YOU HAVE A RESTRAINING ORDER IN EFFECT!!! PLEASE DO SOMETHING ASAP!!! I WOULD NOT WISH THE PAIN I EXPERIENCED FOR 8 MONTHS ON EVEN MY WORST ENEMY!!! SAFEGUARD YOUR DAUGHTER BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!! YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN TOO LATE WILL BE!!
-MOTHER OF KIDNAPPED CHILD

Lisa - posted on 06/23/2010

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If you were not married at the time, he has NO legal rights. Even if his name is on the birth certificate, he would still have to get her legitimized in order to have legal rights!!

Carmen - posted on 06/22/2010

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Not without a court order, which wouldnt happen for no reason. It takes a lot for a judge to take away a mothers rights to her child. However for peace of mind.. if the father does not want to be a part of your childs life and you dont care for child support you can take him to court for biological rights to the child. Meaning he would sign away all of his rights to your child and can never take your child away, not even for visitations.

Jenna - posted on 06/17/2010

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I would consult a family law attorney in your area. Many are avaialble through Legal Aid, if you look for it. Depending on your state, father's rights can differ. But I'm pretty sure there is no where that he can just take your child and not bring her back. He would still be committing an act of kidnapping. But, like I said, consult a family law attorney or even Child and Youth Services.

Emily - posted on 06/20/2010

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if he takes her and doesnt bring her back it is considered "denial of parental rights" and is a criminal offense (kinda like kidnapping but by a parent rather than a stranger). if that is what he does, call the cops! and that definitely doesnt look good to a judge when you do finally go to court!

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106 Comments

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Rachel - posted on 06/23/2010

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The best thing you can do is consult a lawyer and get to court as soon as possible. As far as I know he can't take her and not bring her back but he can however show up unannounced to see her and take her for a weekend. I'd advise you to get the papers drawn up before he does. Family court has helped a few of my friends in this situation. They use mediators to come to an agreement and it doesn't go in front of a judge.

Sherrie - posted on 06/23/2010

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I know for a fact that if you and the father are living together he has every legal right you do and can leave with the child whenever just as you could. If he is an absent father and you are able to prove that then there would be no right for him to take her. I would write something up describing when he visits and have him sign it and if not I would go to family court and make it known you are a single mother and you would like sole custody.

[deleted account]

I'm going through court wit my baby father too. its better to keep your baby supervisor and with you all time until there is a court order because either of u guys have custody of the child. If he takes the child and you called the police, they cannot do anything about it.

Victoria - posted on 06/23/2010

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first off, he doesn't have the same right you do as you're not married, people say it don't matter now a days but in law terms it does, one of my ex's fought for a year in court to see his children and he was on their birth certificate. has he had regular contact with your daughter, does he provided financially, emotionally and physically? these will be questions asked in a court if it ever gets there, and if the answer is no to the second two then all the courts will do is get him to build his time and bond but even then, he will still have to ask your permission for taking her even if it's the park, and unless other wise arranged your home will be her only one. if you want to safe guard against him taking her from you, get your mum or a really trusted friend to share custody with you and be a registerred gaurdian, also get it listed in your will who you want her to go to, he will be able to contest this but if he is proved to have not been there for your daughter in anyway she will go to that persn listed in your will. x hope it helps.

Krystle - posted on 06/23/2010

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From experiences that family friends have been through similar to this, I would suggest like the others to get an order in place. This will give you more power and the cops, if he ever took them. Hav

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2010

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yes this is true, without court orders for her to be in your custody he can take her from your home, school etc and the authorities will do nothing about it.

Cissy - posted on 06/22/2010

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I do not believe that he can take her away from you personally. BUT... he does have every right to pick her up from school or day care unless there is a court signed order stating otherwise. The only way to not let him get her is if possible keep her away from day care and only let your relatives watch her until you get a court signed document.

Heather - posted on 06/22/2010

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i went thru this a couple weeks ago the cops told me to go to family court so i did and i filled out paperwork for custody and until court was done he couldnt see her or take her without my permission. but they told me if i handed her over to him then he can run and theres nothign i can do about it

Nicky - posted on 06/22/2010

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Technically he could do that if you do not have a formal visitation agreement. I would either agree with him in writing and file something with the court or if he won't agree get a attorney and go to court to get something in writing.

Paula - posted on 06/22/2010

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fathers( in ireland anyway) have no legal right to take a child without the consent of the mother. Only rights irish fathers have is that given to them by the mother or the court of law. i know coz i had same suitation and had court

Deeanna - posted on 06/22/2010

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i would go to court ASAP over this. just to get custody orders in place. its always better to be safe than sorry, and if he doesnt want to have full custody it shouldnt be hard to get the papers set. a plus is you will most likely get some child support as well.

Tenneshia - posted on 06/22/2010

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Hello, I work in a school system and it has been brought to my attention that a non-custodial parent has the same rights as a custodial parent. Some state laws differ and lean more to the maternal side. What you can also do is contact your children service agency and ask them. But to also make sure you dont have that problem I would go to Domestic relations (whichever its called in your state (Family Court) and file for custody since you are the sole provider of the child.

Krystal - posted on 06/22/2010

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that is so true.... he cant just take your child and not bring her back he may say that too scare u that's what most of them do keep in mind dont let her go by herself with him cause he may take her and dont care if its kidnap charges also get in touch with some1 with legal aid or not just that if u feel he will do something get a protection order and he will have to stay away from u and the child that should give u time to go to court so he will be a to get visitation if that what u want hope all go well i'll keep u n my prayers

Vanessa - posted on 06/22/2010

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Yes that is true!I would be getting a lawyer asap to work on confirmation of custody arrangements.

Laura - posted on 06/22/2010

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Not from you because you are the mom. If she is with you he can't but if he shows up at your mom's or daycare to get her they have to let her go once the cops get there. If you do not want him to take her make sure everyone knows to call you and then the cops. Make sure you get there and holding her before the cops get there. If you have her in your arms you can take her and him as well. You can go to court yourself and see if they can give you a temp. court ordered child custody because you fear that he will run with her and never come back. There is all kinds of help at the court house. They will send you to the right person or department to get you started. But I would consult a family lawyer when you can and see what advise they may have for you.

Jessi - posted on 06/22/2010

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wow lol still confused ? i would be after all the yes and nos and maybe so's you got on here you prolly have more questions now than answers but its all circumstancial just like a medical problem everyones got the answers to what ails you but until you talk to a REAL doctor that has looked at you you wont get the right one . every situation is different, there may be ppl who have been through a similar situation but never exactly the same every state has some different laws and some same laws every judge is different and looks at things diff and takes diff things into account . he/she may have many of the same situations on his hands but just one detail can change the outcome of each one and dome lawyers (should you need one0 are better than others but you wont know how you situation ends till you go to a real county clerck/lawyer in your area no matter what ppl have said to you . i realise they have prolly all been there as have i but every case is different , my husband is not the father of my twins biologically and their sperm donor was threatening to take them in my case tho i was married to stephen by the time they were born and put him on the bc so if thier sd wanted them he would have to subpeona me to court pay for dna pay a lawyer but he works at blockbuster and no longer knows where i live so i dont see that happening and if he has no contact with us for two yrs then he automatically has NO rights to even the dna test so i would say if you want true answers ask your lawyer you can prolly even look it up online for your area. hope you get your answers and good luck its scary to worry about your childrens lives .

Janelle - posted on 06/22/2010

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It really depends on the laws where you live. In most places, simply having a name on a birth certificate does NOT grant you any rights. It just means you're the child's biological parent. I mean, think about it. If a child is taken from their parent by social services, they don't remove the mother and father's names from the certificate.

Since you have had physical custody of your daughter from the time she was born, it is likely the courts will grant you full physical and legal custody. Usually, if the situation between mother and father is not kosher to begin with, the judge will order the non-custodial parent to give 24 hours notice for unexpected visits, or may set up a visitation schedule. If, for whatever reason, you do not want your daughter's father to have visitation rights, you must talk with a guardian ad litem about those issues.

Angela - posted on 06/22/2010

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yea he has every right that you do BUT NO he cant just take her away from you in any state the mother will always get rights over the child unless the mother is unfit. I would suggest to go to court and try to get full custody with minor visitation rights. which means that he is not to do anything like leaving the state to visit etc. without your permission.

Alisha - posted on 06/22/2010

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This is true i'm in the same situation but i was told by my lawyer that i had to write a letter to him and his family stating that i didnt want them around my daughter's school or anywhere she may be and get it notirized , then you have to keep her yourself DONT EVER let him or his family get your child or he dont have to bring them back.....................

Tara - posted on 06/22/2010

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There is also a program called OARS its for woman who have been in abusive or threatening situations they have helped a lot with me and my son they were the ones who told me not to put his dad on the birth certificate but you can also do what i did and set up residential custody and supervised visitations if you really are worried the only downfall to that is that comes out of your pocket but the plus side is you will know that your daughter is safe and he will not take off with her!

Nicole - posted on 06/22/2010

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sorry to say this, unfortunately it is true. my baby's daddy is on the birth certificate, and if he was to have her..he didn't necisarily need to give her back. if you can avoid the court system, and agree upon an agreement yourself, do that. going to court is way expensive and sometimes it really gets you nowhere. my daughters dad wasn't really around and he still was able to get her 50% of the time, which i thought was bs. but finally he agreed with me on a stipulation and we don't need to do the whole court bs anymore. if you wanna ask more about it, feel free to message me.

Kira - posted on 06/22/2010

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He has no such rights. Like the others said seek legal aid see what they say. If my melodys dad even tried that he knows he would NEVER see her again.

Anne-marie - posted on 06/22/2010

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he can take u to court for legal acess but he hasnt got the rights to just take her and not bring her back, if u fell threatened by him trying to do so contact the police xx

Jessica - posted on 06/22/2010

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You do both have the same legal rights but he can't take her without you knowing and he can't keep her from you legally either. The same applies to you. You are going to need an attorney if you want to avoid any big issues because right now you both have legal custody of the child and until there is documentation otherwise, he does have the right to access his child. If he takes her and won't bring her back on his own, call the police and charge him with kidnapping.

J'selle - posted on 06/22/2010

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i would like the others all said consult a lawyer, but as far as i know if you were never married and he is just on the birth certificate, you should if im correct have all the parenting rights but i could be wrong as far as my state goes that is how it is, and him taking the baby could be seen as kidnapping.

Teanna - posted on 06/22/2010

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I don't know where you are or the laws there but I have been through this and in Seattle you must go and file a tempory order and along with it a proposed parenting planned that outlines what you would like in regards to custody/visitation. If I were you I would just call the courts in your area and find out the steps you have to take.

Alesha - posted on 06/21/2010

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i had the same problem with my ex just go to a family lawer they will help

Cassandra - posted on 06/21/2010

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easy take him off the birth certificate, then he has no legal right what so ever even though she is his he cant do any thing

Erin - posted on 06/21/2010

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Its true, but if you were to go to a family members house and that family member ask him to leave their prop. then he has to leave. Just keep your baby away from him while hes there. Ive been there and I know how you feel...Good luck!

Erica - posted on 06/21/2010

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he can't come take her away from you at any time. he must bring her back as well. that would be kidnap. right now, you basically make the rules since she lives with YOU. if he wants a fight, he can take you to court. otherwise, if you're married and want to stop him from acting a fool, you can terminate his parental rights and have your hubby adopt her. in some states judges will terminate parental rights without having someone there to adopt the child. good luck! don't let him rule your life.

Chelsea - posted on 06/21/2010

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I agree with everyone else that you should consult a family rights attourney.. I'm not quite sure as to how this works and many things that people are saying on here are making me more confused because when my son was born, his father and me were together; and he was still unable to do half of what I ever needed him to. Until my little one left the hospital, (he was a preemie), the only right his father had was visitation at the hospital. He was titled under my last name because "you don't always know who the father is" (hospital comment), so until he left the hospital, even though his dad wasn't an absent parent, he wasn't even able to sign papers until the birth certificate came in the mail. It was interesting. So, after reading what these Moms have said, I'm flustered as to what exactly the rules and lines are when it comes to custody. My sister also, lost custody of her children simply because the father made more money than she did.. Not due to abuse, neglect, faulty mother, or drugs, etc.. Strictly because he made more than she did by a significant amount after they got divorced.. Which I 50% understand, 50% wanna kick the judge in the face for.

Blahhh, I guess we all understand why I'm going into Nursing, not Legal Services. hahaha

Dani - posted on 06/21/2010

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Putting his name on the birth certificate automatically gives paternity to him, but it DOES NOT give him rights to just take her. you should call DCF to see what you can do.

Francesca - posted on 06/21/2010

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First of all, you already have de facto custody. So, even though has has legal rights to her, a court will only keep up what the child is used to, and that is to be in your care.

Go and file for custody to safeguard your rights. You don't even need a lawyer to do it.

But, he can demand access, and even file for custody if you already don't have it. And you wouldn't want that. So, file it before he decides he is interested. Then, its indisputable.

Kalia - posted on 06/21/2010

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go to a family lawer, there are alot out there that are even for "low income" Legal Aid. it vary's from state but for the most part this is correct. It is only kidnapping if there is a court order or substantial proof that he ment harm or had no intention of follow court procedures. but no judge would let him go easy unless there was proof that the kid was better off with him, but i doubt that the case Be careful and get to a lawyer asap, good luck and god bless

Brianna - posted on 06/21/2010

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That's not true. My aunt has been having problems with her ex, and the police and lawyers have told her it doesn't matter he has no rights until he takes her to court for them. Especially if you weren't or aren't married, because then you are considered to have soul custody of your child. They even said that in the event that you would die or something your daughter would go to your next of kin, not the father, doesn't matter if he signed the birth certificate or the paternity papers. At least that's what they said here in Illinois.

Shakira - posted on 06/21/2010

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This was an issue between my bf and I because he thought signing the papers and being in the birth certificate only gives him the right to pay child support and nothing else. I gave birth in Chicago so that's the rule. For what I know, you as the mother will always have full custody of the child as long as there's no violence involved or if he didn't specifically asked for an attorney for custody.

Christy - posted on 06/21/2010

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Sorry I have more, If you are married but seperated and the child stays with you, then you are the one with custody of the child so it's your say so. Until you go before a judge, I would not let your child go with him if your scared he will run. This happened with my family member and the judge stated that when the father leaves the child he had giving up his custody to the mother.

Christy - posted on 06/21/2010

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The only way he can do that is if yall were married at the time of birth. If not then he has NO legal rights except to pay childsupport. I had to go through this with my 2 year olds biological father. If he tries to leave with her you can get him with kidnapping if your not married. Hope I was some help

Diana - posted on 06/21/2010

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You need to make a parenting plan.Otherwise yes he could take her and not bring her back.Because there's no proof that he has custody. it's only considered parental kidnapping if there's a parenting plan and they withhold your child when you are supposed to have them.

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He legally CAN take her. There is nothing that the cops can do other than say that you need to go to court and get a custody order. Because of the fact that he is named on the birth certificate and there is no written or court order he has EVERY legal right to her. A friend of mine went through this same issue. She sent her boy to visit her youngest sons dad (in the middle of divorce) and when she went to pick them up, she could only take her oldest son because he wasn't her soon to be ex's. He wouldn't hand over the baby and the cops told her that is his legal right, there is nothing that they can do since there is no order. It's been almost a year and she still hasn't gotten him back although shes been told several times by her soon to be ex he will hand him over. She flies all that way and he wont answer the phone or door. Go to court, get a temp order until you can get a legal court order.

Rachel - posted on 06/21/2010

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Every state has different laws when it comes to custody. And every area handles custody issues different. This is consider a civil issue when you call the cops if custody is not set thru a court system. In the state of MO I know you can get an Ex Parte and get custody of the child until you have a custody hearing. You need to contact an attorney and your local county court house to see how things are done in your area.

SHEILA - posted on 06/21/2010

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AS LONG AS SHE IS IN YOUR CARE W/YOU HE CAN NOT TAKE HER BUT IF YOU LET HIM TAKE HER HE DOESNT HAVE TO BRING HER BACK THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR SELF IS FILING FOR CUSTODY YOUR SELF EVERY STATE HAS DIFFERENT LAWS HE JUST HAVE TO CHECK

Alysha - posted on 06/21/2010

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I'm in the same boat as you are Suzi... But you know what? I'm not worried that he's gonna come and take my child from me. His friends have all threatened me that he was going to. So I told them to tell him to bring it on and take me to court to have his child and that they have no proof what so ever that I'm a bad mom. I have proof that he's a bad dad because he told me when I was 19 weeks pregnant to get an abortion and that he didn't want to be in mine or my daughters' life. which is fine with me, if he's not in mine, but I do care that he's not in her's. I know what it's like to grow up without my bio father...

So anyways, I wouldn't worry about it. The birth certificut means nothing when your a single parent. It's just naming a guy that helped create your baby.

Kelly - posted on 06/21/2010

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I didn't notice you were not in America, the laws are different everywhere. In any state here the father has equal rights without an order, but the rules are probably VERY different where you are at. The best thing to do is to ignore any advice given to you by others and just talk to a lawyer. If you contact the governmental department in charge of custody agreements they may give you some advice or at least tell you what your rights are, but there are often lawyers or legal services that will talk to you for free. Good luck!

Jenna - posted on 06/21/2010

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i see that you are located in Great Britain so I'm not sure how parents' rights work there. I definitely urge you above all else to talk to someone who has this knowledge. Children's services, lawyer/legal aid, even your local police department may have soem insight for you.

Everyone here is giving great advice, I just don't want you to get scared or feel pressured if a person's particular advice doesn't apply in your location or situation. If you find out the legal statues in Great Britain, please post them and let us know!!

Good luck to you!

Kelly - posted on 06/21/2010

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Although extremely unpleasant, it is actually true. If he has possession he can keep her and not give her back without a court order. But if that happens the judge will almost certainly agree in your favor with you having primary custody. If he does take your daughter under any circumstance and does not let you know where she is then it is kidnapping. The best thing to do is to go to a lawyer and get full custody.
It seems like a waste to have to go to court if he is currently uninterested, but my cousin's wife ran out on him and their daughter then came back almost a year later and grabbed the girl from the babysitter while he was at work. When I was working out custody with my son's father the lawyer told me that type of thing is completely legal and I was taking a risk every time the father had my son without a court order. We were never married either

Carly - posted on 06/21/2010

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No he is pulling you on! He does have rights for being on the birth certificate but a court would favour the children to stay with the mother! Do not let him take your child! It sounds to me he might try!

Bobbi Jo - posted on 06/21/2010

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If there is nothing in place court wise, I hate to say this, but he can take the child. It would not be kidnapping because he is the father and there is nothing in writing that says u are the primary caregiver or have the child.

Nikki - posted on 06/21/2010

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If he is on her birth certificate he can legal pick your daughter up anywhere (when your at a store, from you house, etc.) The law states that a father can not be charged with kidnapping. You must go to court and apply for full custody. This is the only way to keep him from being able to take your child.

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