1. Free Legal Help, Legal Forms and Lawyers. TheLaw.com has been providing free legal assistance online since 1995. Our most popular destinations for legal help are below. It only takes a minute to join our legal community!

    Dismiss Notice

New state

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Francis226901, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Jurisdiction:
    New Mexico
    Backstory before I jump in. I have 3 kids ages 11,6 and 3. I have been with my husband for 12 years and have my older two children from him. We separated briefly and unfortunately but fortunately I became pregnant with my youngest child from another man through a one night stand sort of situation. Then my husband and I reconciled once I found out I was pregnant. Therefore his name is or was on her birth certificate. My husband was with me all throughout my pregnancy and till this day. My daughter knows him as her father. I moved to California about 11 months ago to have more support from family and just found out the judge adjudicated parentage to her father. Although I never attended court for the matter. I now have a bench warrant for failure to appear when I was never served to begin with. I never had a fighting chance. Her biological father whom they adjudicated parentage to has been in her life for a total of 3 months visiting her 2 days a week within the 3 months. I’m wondering now what I have to do. If I respond and fight it there’s a chance they will give him rights because look what they’ve already done. He has a record and currently sells drugs and has a history of Heroine use. The idea of him having a chance with joint custody worries me. I am really wondering if I don’t respond what will happen next. Can he take me to court for joint or sole custody without me attending court? And will he get it considering I’m not there to fight? Can he claim he served me like he did this time? If I get a good attorney what is worst case scenario and how is custody split in different states? We have an established life in California and are in the process of buying a home. When my daughter was visiting with this man it confused her so much she was visibly uncomfortable and the thought of him having equal rights to a child he doesn’t know and who doesn’t know him is scary. Please help. This is such a unique situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,616
    Likes Received:
    5,860
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You need to consult a lawyer in the state where you now reside.

    Until you've spoken to a lawyer, don't do anything with the pending litigation.

    Your lawyer, once you've retained her/him, will advise you as to how to proceed.

    Your youngest child was born while you were married.

    Legally your husband is the child's putative pappy.

    The "drug dealing wanna be pappy" might never have his desires fulfilled, as long you seek legal advice from a lawyer.

    Your situation is not unique.

    There are thousands of people dealing with the aftermath of their prior, poor choices.

    Use this time to think more clearly and to chart a course for your life that eliminates promiscuity, drug abuse, and other DESTRUCTIVE behaviors.

    As my grandfather often told me, "Son, life is as hard as you make it. Be smart in your choices, and never be afraid to say, NO!"
     
    Francis226901 likes this.
  3. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    When I have reached out to lawyers here in the state I reside they tell me to contact lawyers in NM where the jurisdiction is. I wanted a California attorney for a number of reasons. Am I reaching out to the wrong lawyers or is this the typical advice?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,616
    Likes Received:
    5,860
    Trophy Points:
    113

    How long have you and the child resided in CA?

    Forget about visits the child may have had with the dope dealing daddy because you were residing in Cali.
     
    Francis226901 likes this.
  5. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I have been here since May 30th 2021
     
  6. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I was born in California and lived there for 25 years. I moved to NM for about 4 years and then back to California May 2021.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

    Messages:
    10,178
    Likes Received:
    3,620
    Trophy Points:
    113

    No it isn't. You had a one night stand, made a baby, now you want to keep the child away from her bio-Dad. Nothing unique about that. I wish I had a buck for every time I read that scenario, from women and men.

    You need a lawyer in NM to explain your absence and get the warrant cancelled.

    Beyond that, you are going to have to resign yourself to the court's decision about bio-Dad's rights. That's not going to change.

    Wherever bio-Dad is a resident, he has a choice of filing for custody and visitation where he lives or where you live.

    You have two choices.

    Either teach your daughter the advantages of having two Dads and cooperate with visitation, or continue fighting it which will exacerbate her confusion and eventually make a lawyer very happy separating you from you money. And, guess what, the court will eventually award him shared custody and visitation anyway.

    By the way, are you getting child support from bio-Dad? You were entitled to that from day one
     
    Red Kayak, zddoodah and justblue like this.
  8. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,636
    Likes Received:
    1,205
    Trophy Points:
    113

    When was the NM paternity case filed/adjudicated? Did the father know your address in Cali? When was the last time the childs father saw her?
     
  9. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I have not received any child support. He agreed to pay from the moment he decided he wanted to be in her life but no retroactive payments. When it was brought up he didn’t see why he had to pay anything for the time he wasn’t in her life.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

    Messages:
    11,481
    Likes Received:
    2,027
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Expect him to disappear again once he is faced with the prospect of paying child support. As mentioned above, he owes you from day one. It doesn't matter whether he was visiting or not.
     
    Blue Slipper likes this.
  11. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,616
    Likes Received:
    5,860
    Trophy Points:
    113

    You've resided with the child in question in California for more than six months.

    The lawyer you select needs to know that.

    Why?

    Because the alleged drug abusing, drug dealing "daddy" will be required to bring his case in a California court, if the lawyer knows her business.

    As @adjusterjack stated, once the wannabe pappy learns he'll be required to pay child support, along with the costs of the child's transport between California and New Mexico, he's likely to slither away silently.

    If he doesn't disappear immediately, as the expenses and child support mount up, sooner or later he will.

    If he's a drug abusing, drug dealing law breaker, he'll probably also be required to pay for SUPERVISED visits with the child.

    No need for me ramble on more, find that incredible California family law attorney, and she or he will get this matter adjudicated before the correct forum, CA.

    By the way, an unmarried pappy has no rights to a child born out of wedlock, unless and until the proper forum adjudicates the matter.

    It isn't automatic just because he's her sperm donor, either.

    His character and morality will become issues to be addressed.

    Meanwhile, you and your hubby, possess what the sperm Donor seeks, legal custody of the child.

    The lesson will be painful for your family, no matter the outcome.

    You might also investigate family and personal counseling to ensure everyone gets through this and maintains their sanity.
     
    Francis226901 likes this.
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    2,524
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I disagree with this statement, as written. The legal father of the child was the man that the mother was (and is now) married to. The biological father had no legal obligation to pay support. Things may change now, but that isn't likely to be retroactive.
     
    stealthy1, Red Kayak and zddoodah like this.
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    2,524
    Trophy Points:
    113

    This is generally true, but look at the timeline. She moved here 11 months ago and the judge just decided parentage. It's quite possible (perhaps even "likely") that the case was filed prior to the OP establishing residency, which would mean that New Mexico properly asserted and maintained jurisdiction over the child.
     
    Red Kayak and justblue like this.
  14. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    2,524
    Trophy Points:
    113

    @Francis226901 - did you know that the biological father was interested in fostering a relationship with his child prior to moving? Did you know about the case being filed prior to moving? What date was the case filed? What date did you move to California?
     
  15. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

    Messages:
    34,616
    Likes Received:
    5,860
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Mate, these topics really stimulate you, don't they?

    Relax, these are merely words appearing on a screen.

    You contradict yourself, mate.

    Her marriage determined the putative father, her husband.

    The sperm donor hasn't proven anything.

    As far as I can determine, the matter hasn't been adjudicated properly for a number of reasons.

    Plus, there might be factors that disqualify placement with a male who allegedly abuses and sells drugs.

    I also can't say that the mother has received due process in the matter, and a hearing before the correct forum may not have transpired.

    Bottom line, in my view, mom now has enough information to pique the interest of a few CA family law attorneys.
     
  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    2,524
    Trophy Points:
    113

    At this time, a court of (apparently) competent jurisdiction has determined that the biological father is, in fact, the father of the child. I don't understand where I contradicted myself.

    It has.

    That is the crux of the matter ;)

    I absolutely agree, but I don't believe that the matter of placement has (yet) come before the court.

    I would agree that the OP should speak to one or more CA family law attorneys.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    Likes Received:
    1,576
    Trophy Points:
    113

    Well...which is it? Is or was?

    These proceedings occurred in New Mexico. Correct?

    Did you give your youngest child's father advance notification regarding your move?

    A fighting chance to do what? You appear not to contest that this man is your child's biological father. Right?

    You should retain the services of an attorney in the state where the paternity proceeding occurred, and you should do it quickly because the time to challenge the determination will likely be rather short.

    Ummm...first of all, a man acquiring legal rights regarding his child is hardly a bad thing. Second, if he has been adjudicated to be her father, he already has rights.

    Impossible to predict in the abstract.

    As phrased, this doesn't make any sense. Of course he can "take [you] to court" and request whatever custody arrangements he wants. Whether you'd have to attend court personally is impossible to predict in the abstract, and whether you attend or not has nothing to do with his ability to "take [you] to court."

    If you blow off whatever proceedings take place, you will absolutely run the risk of him getting that for which he asks.

    Anyone can claim anything.

    You don't want to know the worst case scenario. Given that the child has never lived with her father in her three years of life, it is likely that most he'll get is regular visitation, along with joint legal custody (legal custody is the right to make important decisions regarding things like education, religion and medical care). How exactly visitation might work is impossible to predict.

    Sigh...this is an obvious and predictable consequence of the sexual relationship you chose to have.

    Not so. The legal obligation to pay child support cannot be retroactive to a date prior to the date of filing of a petition for support (and this is especially true when the child's legal father "from day one" was someone else).
     
    justblue likes this.
  18. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,963
    Likes Received:
    320
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Get a lawyer.

    How did he manage to file anything and get any kind of adjudication of parental rights? That seems weird considering your husband has been her legal father for many years.

    When did visits start? Like - this guy was a stranger to your daughter right? How did you even approach visitation? Why did visits happen? Was there some court order issued? This is really confusing.

    However your situation isn't unique at all. My mom cheated on my dad - my youngest brother was the result of it. We didn't know this for sure until the divorce when he was 12 and there was a DNA test done. Biologically he's that guy's kid - legally he has been and is still my father's son. The state they are in my mom said they would have had to do a second DNA test to be able to change his last name before he was 18. However ,when he was 18 he changed his last name on his own being guilted ino it. Now he wishes he hadn't. But legally - the sperm donor is not my brother's father and my dad raised him til he was 12. Even with a DNA test that guy never legally became his father. But different state.
     
  19. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    2,524
    Trophy Points:
    113

  20. Francis226901

    Francis226901 Law Topic Starter New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    This was a couple days ago and no he didn’t know my address. On the court paper he emailed me it has the court address for me as an address I used prior at a UPS store but I closed that box in December. On top of that the box had a number attached to it as the box number that goes along with the address of the UPS store but that wasn’t on the court paper he emailed a couple days ago.


    It was a child support case but in order to receive child support they had to prove he was the father. We took a store bought paternity test when she was about 6 months old not for child support just because we wanted to know. He denied having or taking that to the child support enforcement division when I attempted to get child support.

    Before I moved he and I both agreed to drop child support because I didn’t want to remove my husband from the birth certificate so we had a court date to drop child support, he didn’t show up. Although the local child support office was involved the judge agreed to drop the child support case. Once I was gone sometime in December of 2021 the case was reopened. Not sure if the date would be from before or after based on what I just typed. He submitted the store bought paternity results to the judge (the one he denied having to the Child support enforcement division).
    I had no idea about this case. I just went to case lookup to see if what he sent me was true. And it shows dates and decisions. I was not served.

    I was aware of his desire to be in her life. He was seeing her for a very brief time no more than 3 months and in that time he demanded that he get her half the time because I worked full time and she was in a Montessori full time and he didn’t see a reason to have to pay for half of her Montessori program. If he was available to watch her. (Which he didn’t have to pay anything until we went to court for child support and never did pay anything) I explained why it was important for her and her development and he responded to threats to take me to court if I didn’t let him spend those days with her unsupervised while I was working. He would bring her back at 5 and that grew old (to him). He then said “this is cutting into my time with my family and I think she should spend the night Monday through Wednesday”. To which I disagreed for obvious reasons and I was also breastfeeding at the time. I told him no absolutely not and reminded him that he’s only been in her life for 6 weeks and expressed to him that it’s not about convenience it’s about what’s best for the child, to which I got a threat for court and told that I shouldn’t be breastfeeding. So to pacify him (this is probably wrong of me) I told him once I’m done breastfeeding I will consider it. He was constantly trying to tell me well I have been doing this consistently for almost 2 months and I think we need to move forward. But I didn’t think it was sufficient time spent to even move forward from supervised visits.

    I wasn’t planning a move back to California but my grandma was pretty sick. Once I was there I seen the importance of being with family and raising my children around cousins and their grandparents. I told him and he seemed fine with it. Then a few months later I started receiving threats to which i responded that he had no rights being that he wasn’t on the birth certificate. Then I never heard from him till a few days ago.
     

Share This Page