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Non Custodial Rights For Father of "Illegitimate Child"

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Does anyone have any experience or advise on this issue?


Re-Cap - - > My bf dated a girl for 3 weeks last March. They split. She informed him she was pregnant.

During the pregnancy, he went to some appt's/ultrasounds but it was limited contact for the most part.

He went to the hospital for his daughters birth. Proceeded to visit his daughter at his ex's house since she was born.

He had a paternity test and received results early January.


He had his first attorney appointment last week. The attorney basically stated that "since his daughter is an illegitimate child, he has no rights" and that he should take advantage of the time his ex is allowing him to spend with her.


He's offered child support and attempted to discuss it with his ex for weeks. She refused.


Anyhow, apparently she has accepted that they are not getting back together (something he's been trying to make clear for weeks but she was unwilling to accept.)


This morning she called and told him he needs to start paying X amount of child support. Fine.


Biggest issue - she is not allowing him time with his daughter now. Her mom has their daughter most of the time (since his ex is back to work,) and his ex has basically stated that he'll get very little time with his daughter.


Going back to the attorneys words... "you have no rights.." Does anyone have experience with this? I just can't fathom him having no rights to his daughter just because she was born out of wedlock.



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Originally what the attorney said made sense.


Since his ex would not accept child support or discuss it, he's been putting the money in the bank.


And he was indeed getting more time with his daughter than what the courts would order.


Now, since he didn't give in to her requests to try to make the relationship work, it's war apparently.


Hence, limited visitation. Very little time with his daughter.


We're calling around to other attorneys. I had an attorney a couple years ago for child support and visitation of my daughter. She was great and her consultation is free.


So hopes are that a different attorney may be more willing and motivated to assist whereas the other attorney wouldn't have done a thing for him.


Just wondering if anyone, anyone has been in this situation! I've never known anyone to have a child without somewhat of a relationship. I've never known any women that want control and basically will manipulate as much as possible because they don't have their way.

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Get another lawyer cause I think that one is full of it. There are alot of illegitimate children walking around out there. I find that one hard to believe.


Usually one can do their own research also at the courthouse of their local county. Most of the time the clerks there are very helpful. maybe he can go for himself and for just a few dollars administrative costs he can not only find out what the laws are in his area, but get copies of those statutes/laws for his records.

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I would make sure that any attorney that you talk to is one that specializes in family law and custodial cases.


I find it very hard to believe that unless your bf was some sort of criminal/drug addict etc that he would automatically have NO rights simply because they were not married when the child was born. If that were the case, there would be alot of parents out there whom were not allowed to see their children.

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That attorney specializes in family. She actually represented my ex. She had no law books. No computer. And smoked during the whole consultation. She was also very rude.


I'm pretty sure he's going to consult with another attorney.


I guess there's just the intense fear that he will end up with 3 - 2 hr visits during the week and paying a third of his income in child support. (mind you, I do agree with child support - it's just so frustrating to have few rights with your child and paying a huge amount of support, u know?)


He is a good person. He will be a great father. If he has the chance.

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That attorney specializes in family. She actually represented my ex. She had no law books. No computer. And smoked during the whole consultation. She was also very rude.


I'm pretty sure he's going to consult with another attorney.



She sounds very unprofessional. I'd definitely find a new attorney.


Just as in any career, there are good lawyers and bad lawyers. Sounds like you got a dud.

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The notion of non custodial rights for an illegitimate child seems obsurd but it is going to vary depending on the jurisdiction. To my knowledge the laws associated with illegitmate children are antiquated but it is going to depend on the jurisdiction. I would suggest some kind of mediation and to look for low cost or no cost attorneys who have experience in Family Law specifically the issue your bf is confronting.

What state is this by the way? I want to look up the law and see the statute for myself.

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Thank you All!


One of the other issues is that they both live in different counties. I came accross a family law attorney today on a "Dad's Rights" website. This attorney is located in her county. I'm guessing he needs an attorney from her county? Or that it may be helpful? (They live over an hour away from each other.)

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I looked into your states laws and what I found was if a child was conceived out of wedlock, then custoday/rights automatically go to the mother. The father will have to prove paternity and file for his rights/visitation. If the mother is unfit, he will have a chance to possibly gain custody. If not, he will get his visits and have to proceed from there.


Was your children's dads given any rights/chance of custody? You can go off your own case law there and get some information to how they will treat your boyfriend in court. The way I see it is, your children's father's have visitation according to the courts rights? So that should give the b/friend some relief to know that will be the very minimum he will get through court.

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Thank you teeters!


My situation was a "tad bit" different.

I have always encouraged my childrens fathers and allowed them to be in my childrens lives. My children will benefit from having a close relationship with their dad's. I can't imagine taking that right away.


Since they never lived together, I'm assuming for at least the first year, he will have to visit his daughter at his ex's house (that's what the courts will order.) Unless... he gets a darned good lawyer!

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The attorney is correct, an unmarried father starts out with zero rights in most states in the US. The mother gets 100% custody. The father has to file a paternity action in order to get court ordered visitation. Then the mother cannot legally deny him visitation.

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Thank you all! The only downside to this is that standard visitation in this situation is 3 evening visits at her place. He will take all he can get. But - she works on Saturdays and is on call a couple nights a week. Her mom is taking care of their daughter and her dad takes care of her other two children.


I know a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. But it would be nice if she'd allow him more visitation rather than having her mom take care of their daughter and refusing him visitation.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have an ex who decided to leave... he lives in another state, but that's a different story.


Sounds like he's trying hard to make this right. But I have to tell you: It seems like there are holes in your bf's story. I also have to tell you that I have nothing personal toward my ex at this point. His wife and I are good friends.

Now you know my comment isn't about my personal affairs....you need to really pay attention to what your bf is saying.


If you live in America, there is no truth to the statement, ""since his daughter is an illegitimate child, he has no rights".


I would wonder if your bf is lying to you. Under the federal laws, any biological child is entitiled to visitation with BOTH biological parents. UNLESS there is a history of ABUSE. This is when it gets messy. This is the only reason it gets messy.


I would be careful to be with a guy who had a child and chose this for his life.

I hope my forward comments help...and you can RESEARCH these laws and his stories... because that is what they sound like to me. Stories.

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Under the federal laws, any biological child is entitiled to visitation with BOTH biological parents


Well no that's not quite correct. The problem comes in that with any child, it is of course obvious who the mother is at birth. But the father is not so obvious. In a married couple, most states (and these laws are governed by the state - not the federal government) declare the woman's husband as the legal father unless he challenges it. In an unmarried couple, NO father is assumed to be the legal father. It must be determined through a paternity process.


Unless paternity is determined the unmarried father has NO rights. Even better, in many states the state can declare someone to be the putative father for the purpose of assessing them child support but without granting them any parental rights. So they end up having to pay child support but have no visitation rights or say in how the child is raised.


The father has to establish paternity either by agreement with the mother where she signs a Recognition of Parentage, or through the courts if she won't cooperate.

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Get another attorney - that one is wrong. My dad had the court order partial custody of my little sister, born out of wedlock (in Indiana!) in 1986. For a few years after she was born, she'd let us (being me and my dad) have her every weekend. Then she started a rumor that my dad had thrown my little sister accross the room in order to keep my dad from even getting weekends with my sister, but thankfully courts don't believe baseless rumors. My dad had full custody of me, so the courts saw no reason to deny him partial custody of my sister.


And please get your boyfriend to have the court order child support. My dad gave my sister's mom a few hundred a month "off the record" and whatever else she needed, and bought all my sister's school clothes and supplies. Once my sister got to be around 10, her mom started telling her what a jerk my dad was because he wasn't giving her any child support. My dad's first step was to get the money he was giving to her each week "on the record," and have it immediately taken out of his paycheck by court order. My sister's mom backed off, but when my sister turned 17 she told my dad that she was mad that he had gotten the court order rescinded and hadn't given her mom any money for a couple of years. (When my dad was, mind you, still buying all of her school supplies and clothes and giving her any money she needed for recreation. AND, my dad took custody of my sister for about 6 months basically off the record and was still giving her mom child support.) My dad let my sister loose on his filing cabinet, telling her that he'd give her $100 if she could find one paystub without a child support deduction on it.


Okay, I've rambled quite a bit, but the bottom line is that your boyfriend needs things to be official. A court ordering your boyfriend to see his child twice a week doesn't mean he only gets to see her twice a week - it means that he HAS to see her twice a week. And the sooner he gets the court to order child support, the sooner the mom won't be able to make him look bad in court whenever she DOES go to him for child support. Also, they need to decide which parent will claim the baby as a tax deduction - my dad alternated years with my sister's mom, although she tried to claim her several times during my dad's years. Your boyfriend's child's mother may be a completely normal, non-drug addicted, non-loser, unlike my sister's mom, but things can happen.

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ImThatGirl did state that her bf got a paternity test, but didn't say the results. I assume we are all under the presumption that the bf was told he was the father? Wouldn't that then establish paternity?


Also, (usually) child support and child custody are two separate issues. Usually only in a divorce is everything so nice and neat in a package. If they were never married, they didn't have that luxury.


I just filed for child support for my son after 12 years. However, his father and I still have no custody agreement through the courts. Thankfully we have ourselves established a schedule that works, but everyone can't be that lucky! But, when in court for child support, the case worker did recommend that we get something on the books.

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Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate it.


How is paternity actually established? He had a paternity test in early Jan and it came back positive, he is the father. They have an appt for him to sign the birth certificate in March. Will he still need to establish paternity through the courts.


Isis - I agree, I think there are holes in his story. But somethings I know for a fact. Like the comment from the attorney. I was at the appointment and she specifically stated he has no rights at this point and would be lucky to get standard visitation (visits at her place) through the courts.


Paisley - He refuses to go through the courts because 1) he's very conflict avoidant, 2) he's worried she will make visitation more difficult, and 3) the courts would order that he pay $150 a week and she's accepting $90 a week.


He leaves so many gray areas with her. I agree he needs to find a "good" attorney and get everything in black and white.

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He can't have visits unless the court decides, since she's not interested in making a compromise.

But since he's a dad I am shure he has a right to visit the kid. After the court decides that. The only question is how often - and the court will decide that too.

Be carefull about the holes in a story.

You are sacrificing a lot - so you need to know everything!

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Will he still need to establish paternity through the courts.


Probably yes, since she is being uncooperative. If she was willing to sign a Recognition of Parentage then the court wouldn't be necessary. He should talk to a lawyer about perhaps negotiating that so that a court visit is not necessary.


A court would probably only order visitations at the mother's place for a few hours 2-3 times per week. They tend to do that with infants and not allow overnight visits until later. If he can work out a better visitation schedule with the mother then that's the way to go. But he needs to get it in writing and once again he should involve an attorney so that the agreement can be enforced if she tries to back out on it later.


Regarding the child support, he should be paying guideline child support. Just because the mother has been taking less doesn't mean she SHOULD be taking less. The support is for the baby and the baby has needs. He needs to be responsible for helping meet those needs. Just because she is taking less money now doesn't mean she can't go to court later and ask for back child support to make up the difference. She'd get it in a heartbeat.

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