Child Custody -Unwed parents

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by 1dreastman, Jun 29, 2011.

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  1. 1dreastman

    1dreastman Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My daughter has a 3 year old child with her boyfriend. They live together now, but she wants to leave and take the child with her to live in another state. What rights does the boyfriend/father of this child have over the child since he and my daughter were never married? Does custody automatically go to the mother?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If they have no existing court orders, he has no legal rights to the child. He also has to establish paternity. However, establishing paternity alone offers him no custody rights to the child.

    She's free to go anywhere at anytime, if has has no custody order. That said, he can get mad and bring a case after she leaves. She would have to return to defend, if he did. However, he can't stop her with words. Unless he has a custody order from a court, he has no voice and no rights to the child.
     
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  3. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    Once and if he is established as father of the child then he will have visitation rights to the child as long as he is fit. Your daughter would be wise to move before paternity is established if she wants to move out of state. Good luck.
     
  4. bluemann33

    bluemann33 New Member

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    Is he listed as the father on the birth cert.?
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    The father also can take the child and move as he pleases since there is no order preventing it. It is not just mom's baby. Doing so is not very wise for either parent if they want to avoid legal chaos over the child.

    If either parent moves and deliberately prevents the other parent from having access to the child, that parent might have an unpleasant surprise coming.

    The safest bet is for mom to go through the family court and obtain a visitation/custody order BEFORE moving.

    Whatever she does, she had better not prevent the father from having access to the child. Moving to another state pretty much limits access and makes her look like the bad guy.

    It does not matter that they are not married. They are both parents with equal rights to the child... though if he is not listed on the birth certificate he will first need to establish paternity. I am betting that the father is on the birth certificate though, since you didn't bring it up.
     
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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Sorry, Moose, unless the father of a child sired OOW has a court order, he has no rights to the child. That is even if his name is on the birth certificate or he possesses other indicia of paternity (usually a DNA).

    Right or wrong, dads that sire OOW issue, have no legal rights to the issue. Those rights are vested solely in the mother. A father has to go to court to obtain a court order to give him equal rights to the child.
     
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  7. 1dreastman

    1dreastman Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks ArmyJudge, Bluemann and Mightymoose for the help and food for thought.
    To address a few questions...
    Yes the father's name is on the BC, so paternity is established.
    There has been no court order by my daughter or the boyfriend regarding the child. Of course the concern is that
    the boyfriend will take the child and flee, causing chaos. He is very narsasistic and doesn't have a clue how to think of anyone but himself.
    He has lost custody of three children from a prior marriage, so my hope is the court will some how be aware of that in their ruling.

    It sounds like the best thing for her to do is to get the custody/visitation order from the court prior to leaving him, and then move out of state once the court has ruled. Not that that is a guarantee he won't try to take her.

    So once she has a court order, even if it says he can visit the child, and she does not want to keep the boyfriend from seeing the child, but wants visitation supervised, she can leave the state without him causing issues through the court that cause her to return?
     
  8. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    The court won't care about his other children - your daughter apparently was aware of this and thought he was fine parenting material, so they'll trust her judgment.

    On what grounds does she think supervised visitation is appropriate?

    Yes, she should get a custody/visitation order in place AND get permission to relocate BEFORE she moves. Otherwise Dad could make her life a living hell.

    She should also be prepared to pay for all visitation costs since she's creating the distance.
     
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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    OP, your daughter should have avoided a three time loser bum like he had the black plague. I'm sure you warned her. Now, you're trying to clean up her mess.

    She wants this bum involved in the child's life, hoping one day they'll be a happy family. Leopards can't change their spots, nor can tigers change their stripes.






    If I were her, I wouldn't want this bum around my precious child. He'll never change. He'll just keep breeding like a mad, lustful, wild beast. He'll never be a real dad. This is the fourth child you know about, and he's still failing.




    Bums like this are all talk and bark. They have no interest in establishing legal custody. Why? Because that means he'd be required to pay child support!!! This beast simply wants to spread it's polluted seed in as many foolish females as he can.



    He could fight her. He has that right. We won't fight her, because that means he'd be obligated. Obligations isn't something these creatures wish to own.

    God bless you for caring, mom.
     
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  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps this is something that varies in state law.
    Here in CA both parents would have equal rights toward the child until a court order said otherwise... unless paternity was in question. From what I can tell, Virginia law recognizes that paternity is established by the father's name being on the birth certificate, regardless of marriage status. With paternity established the father does have parental rights.
    If the father were to take the child he would not be in violation of any law any more than the mother doing the same thing unless there is a custody order. If either parent intentionally withholds the child from the other parent then there are issues.
     
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Paternity has nothing to do with custody.
    Custody of children born OOW automatically vests with mom. Dad has to act affirmatively to establish custody.

    The police rarely involve themselves in civil matters, other than to keep the peace.

    Trust me, (I'm a lawyer), dad has neither legal rights or responsibilities for such a kid; until the court issues an order or orders.
     
  12. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    Establishing paternity means Dad has the right to go to court and petition for custodial and visitation rights. An unwed father does not stand equal to Mom in Virginia; he MUST go to court first. Otherwise he CAN be in trouble.
     
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  13. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Spot on, only to add that dad also establishes a legal burden and obligation to pay support towards the rearing of his kid!!!
     
  14. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    That seems backwards.
    With paternity established the father has established rights with the child. The mother does not have sole custody until a court says so, and the father does not lose any rights until a court says so. Without a court order both parents are in limbo.
    Granted, a court is likely to ultimately award custody to the mother, but the father is not in violation of anything if he takes his child when there is no order, and is under no obligation to hand the child back over to mom absent a court order.
    It appears to me that laws regarding this vary from state to state, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer that addresses this.
     
  15. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    No, that's not correct at all.

    Without a court order, Mom is by default the sole legal custodian. Establishing paternity does NOT automatically establish custodial rights.

    It's absolutely critical that we stick to what is relevant to the OP's state, too.

    (Though I'll give you an example - in WA, establish paternity also does NOT give an unwed father any custodial rights. It merely - as in many other states - gives him standing to petition the court for those custodial rights. In Ohio however it would be different).
     
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  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Well I didn't want to take the time to search for the relevant Virginia law, but I will take your word for it.
    Just as you did though, I would emphasize "CAN" be in trouble... it all depends on what exactly dad does.

    In this case, if dad took custody of the kid because he knew mom was about to pack up and leave the state, I would think his actions would be justifiable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Most of these bums do nothing but breed.
    They often have 3 or more children by an equal number of women.

    The worst part is that the taxpayer gets stuck supporting these children who grow up without positive male influences.

    That's where the police come in, after these one person crime waves wreak havoc, destruction, and devastation on the innocent citizenry.
     
  18. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    While you and I might both agree that his actions might be justified - the court generally would not. He has no inherent right to take the child - while he's not quite a legal stranger, he's really only a step up from that.

    If he takes the child without Mom's consent, he can (though perhaps not "will") in reality end up with nothing other than supervised visitation in Mom's community..after Mom has relocated with permission from the court.

    This isn't something which would happen in Ohio, for example. But in many other States, unwed fathers are - dare I say it? - virtually penalized for not being married to the mother.

    Still, in this situation, Mommabear needs to get a firm order in place that tells her exactly what she can and can't do - and which will do the same for Dad.
     
  19. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    Well my whole point is that absent a court order there is nothing for either parent to violate.
    In this case they all live in the same home and dad presumably has unrestricted access to the child. If he were to beat mom to the punch and move out with the kid I don't see a scenario where mom gets the kid back against dad's wishes until she has the court order.
    I certainly understand how the court will side with mom pretty much automatically, but until either parent actually goes to court and gets an order there is nothing stopping dad from doing what he wants with the kid, and there is nothing to penalize dad for unless he actually commits a crime such as concealment.... assuming VA has such a law.

    Anyway- as far as the scenario goes for this OP, I think we all did agree that mom needs to get an order in place before she leaves the state. She can certainly leave the house and be apart from dad, but it would not be wise to leave the state without having custody and visitation resolved.
     
  20. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    That's what we're trying to get across though - absent a court order, Mom is the only parent who does have any custodial rights to the child. Dad has NO right to keep the child from Mom - period. However, Mom DOES have the right to keep the child - legally speaking - from Dad. She doesn't have to allow any access at all and as of right now he does not have the same rights to the child as Mom.

    It's not fair, no. But this is the reality of unwed parents - even when paternity is established - in many States.
     
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