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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Tabitha - posted on 06/17/2010

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suzi i do know one thing about this. If the child is in your care the majority of the time you are considered to have custody and if the father does take the child from you and not return him to his home than he will be facing some legal issues. It is not different in any state, this is true for all states. However if you have any legal custody agreements with him he can take the child whereever he likes as long as he returns her when his visit is over. Do you have reason to believe that he will take this child and not return her? If so you really need to talk to an attorney because that would definitly be grounds to file for full custody. Having custody of a child just meens that that child is in your care more than 50% of the time and at your home. The father it sounds like only has partial custody(not sure)? which just meens that he takes the child for visits and maybe a few overnights but does not do the main care of that child. I would still advise you to talk to an attorney about setting up a legal arrangment so this doesn't happen.

Jen - posted on 06/17/2010

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If you have never been to court about legal rights and custody, then yes he has every right as you do because he is listed as the father on the birth certificate. However, if he just showed up and took her or didn't bring her back then he could be in some trouble, but they would tell you that you need to settle it in court. If he is an absent father you are probably better off settling things in court. Depending on where you live and how much contact he has had with the child and how much of a case you can make against him, is whether or not joint custody will be granted. If you and the father are on speaking terms then it is best to work things out outside of court, but if not it's probably more beneficial to go to court and legally get full custody of her.

Rachel - posted on 06/17/2010

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In this situation, it's difficult because you don't have it on the record that you have full custody. If he were to take your child and you called the cops, you have no proof saying that he doesn't have rights to visitation or something of the sort. It's always safer to go to court and file for sole custody, just to have it on the record so in the future, if he ever does take your child, the cops will automatically file kidnapping without any questions. It's hard to say what would happen if you didn't have sole custody but most cops will respond immediately to a mothers claim that her child was taken, no matter who took her. In worst case scenario, if you have a fear of him taking your daughter, you can file for a protective order which would prevent him from seeing her without supervision.

Maria - posted on 06/17/2010

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Like the others I would consult legal aid to find out the specifics for your state. All states laws differ to some degree. I do think that since you listed him on the birth certificate that he will have some rights if he would want them. A social worker may be able to point you toward an attorney to help you that specializes in child custody.

Danielle - posted on 06/17/2010

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I don't know of a judge on the planet who would rule that an absent biological father can suddenly scoop up his child and gain full custody of her. Often times in order for a child to be taken out of their mother's custody there has to be strong evidence suggesting abuse and neglect on the mother's part.

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.

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