Can I expedite the custody process to protect my daughter? 8 Answers as of February 27, 2011

The father of my daughter has not been in the picture since she was born 7 years ago. A few months ago he came back out of the blue and wanted to have a relationship with her. I think it could be good for her, so I have been allowing him to visit twice a month under my supervision. Now he wants to keep her for the weekend at his house, and I said no. He is her father, but he has not been in her life at all so I don't feel comfortable with that yet (and neither does my daughter), but he is claiming that he has the right to since he is her biological father. We never set up a custody agreement and he has never paid child support because he was never in her life. What can I do now to protect my daughter's safety and my rights as a mother? Is there a quick solution?

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Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Nothing quick, just hold your ground until he takes you back to court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The only solution available would be through the court. You can file a Uniform Parentage Act case (a paternity case) and seek custody of your daughter, as well as limited visitation by dad, child support, and attorney's fees. You would best retain a Family Law Attorney to represent you in that case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
I would suggest filing a motion to establish a custody order. You do not have to agree to overnight visits and the fact that he is the biological father does not automatically get him this right. If you are looking for assistance with your case, please contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/25/2011
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP
Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP | Hal D. Bartholomew
If you have a dispute with the father over how you share the child you should file a request with the court to be sent to custody mediation. It is mandatory in California that if there is a dispute regarding the hcild that the Judge refer you to mediation to try to resolve any disagreement. Each county has a different procedure for this occurs. You should consult with an attorney as to how to expedite this process and how it operates in your county. An action must be filed with the court. Each county also has a Family Law Facilitator that has information on this process.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
The father has no rights to visitation until a court makes a legal finding that he is the father. This requires the filing of a Paternity law suit, and until that is done, you as the mother are in complete control. There should be orders sought at this time to prevent the father from taking your daughter and not returning her, or taking your daughter out of the State of California if there is ANY chance that could happen.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/27/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    The only "quick" solution is coming to an agreement, and then drafting that agreement into a Stipulation and Order, assuming you previously opened a paternity case. If not, then you need to file a parentage action and set the matter for a custody hearing. Call a local family law lawyer to discuss the process with you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    There is not a quick solution, but you are still in a very strong position. You should consult an attorney and consider filing your motion to establish a supervised visitation schedule for the father and to get child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    If there are no court orders, you can deny him over nights. Until there is a judgment of paternity, in a case where you were not married, his rights still have not been outlined. You should file a motion and go to court to have a judge determine his rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/25/2011
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