Can he get paternity rights when he refused to sign birth certificate? 1 Answers as of April 06, 2017

My teenage daughter had a baby fourteen months ago. The biological father was present for the birth, but was with another girl at the time. His girlfriend advised him against signing the birth certificate or any other acknowledgement of being the father. The baby's birth certificate currently states only my daughter's name and "No father listed." They were never married, no parenting plan was ever filed due to the father being in and out of jail, as well as totally unreliable. He has never had a job, nor has he provided more than a few small gifts for support. My daughter has always encouraged visitation, etc., but it has been like herding cats to get the father to visit his son. Now the father is in jail again and is claiming he wants custody. Is it even possible for him to make such demands and is my daughter (who is employed full-time and supporting herself) at risk of losing custody or having to share custody?

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First, he would have to prove (with a DNA test) that he is the father, unless your daughter agrees under oath that he is. He would have to pay for the test. If he is the biological father, he can ask to time to see the child. However, if he files, she is also free to file for child support. She can also file and get an order for child support without asking for a parenting plan. Depending on what he is criminally charged with, he will likely get to have some time with the child, although it would probably start out with supervised time. It sounds like the mother would like him to have a relationship with the child (why else would she be encouraging him to see the baby). Custody is WA is for purposes of other States and the federal government. It has nothing to do with who actually has time with the child or decision making authority. Both of these are determined by the parenting plan. Unless she has major issues (mental health, criminal) no one will deprive her of the child. The father, if he goes through with all of the above, will get some time with the child.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/6/2017
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