Can a father take a child away from the mother when no custody order is in place? 9 Answers as of April 30, 2013

My nephew is a new father, he is listed on the birth certificate and the mother will not allow him to see his child. There is no custody order in place and he wants his son due to the mother’s mental health problems. Will he get in trouble if he picks his son up from daycare and does not return him?

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Ronald Main & Associates | Tracian M. Laignel
He very well could get in a lot of criminal trouble if he does that. He needs to get an attorney and file a paternity action where he seeks sole custody of the child. He will also need his attorney to enter an emergency custody order where custody of the child is given to him due to the mother's instability.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 4/30/2013
Cantin Lawyers PC | John Morris
I will certainly cause a problem. I would recommend that he get a paternity judgment and petition the court for orders of custody. Otherwise you're going to open up a can of worms you may wish you hadn't.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/16/2013
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
Yes since they are not married he needs to Petition for Legitimation for the child to get a Court Order.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/16/2013
John Russo | John Russo
If he wishes to obtain custody and placement of this child then he should do it the correct way, through the courts, doing it the way you propose will only traumatize the child maybe you should be thinking along those lines first, e.g. the child! Unless your nephew is a psychiatrist he is not qualified to make a mental health diagnoses, I am sure if you ask the child's mother she would claim that your nephew has mental health issues also.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 4/16/2013
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
Yes, he will probably get in trouble. One parent cannot kidnap a child from the other parent. The best way to do this is for him to go into court, show the court why the mother should not have custody, and then ask for full custody for himself. She will most likely receive visitation rights, and the courts prefer joint custody rather than giving fully to one parent over another.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/16/2013
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    He certainly could get in trouble if he does that. It would be far better to begin a paternity action in court, which will make orders about placement, custody and child support.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Scott McGowan | Scott McGowan
    Yes. Have him go through proper channels and get a custody/access order. While the presumption is one of joint custody the police, when called, will want the child returned to it's mother and tell the father to pursue custody and/or access in the superior court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Look, he is the father and has the same right to the child that she does. However, taking a young child from a "stable" relationship may cause all sorts of harm and the judge may not appreciate it. The best thing to do is to go to court and prove to the judge that it is in the best interests of the child for him or her to be with dad.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 4/16/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    He has as much right to the child as the mother, but self-help is dangerous at best. Get an attorney, start a case and get a custody order.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/16/2013
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