Can I get full custody of my son without having to petition the father for it? 22 Answers as of July 03, 2013

My son is 3 weeks old and his father is not around. His name isnt on the birth certificate, nor has he acknowledged paternity. Can I get full custody of my son without having to petition the father for it?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
By "full custody" I assume you are referring to possession - if so, you have that already. If you want child support, you have to go to court. If you want to limit the father's access - assuming he wants some - you have to go to court. You cannot get any orders from the Court affecting the rights of any person without giving notice to the person being affected.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/26/2011
Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
If you want enforceable orders of superior custody rights you need to go to court for them.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/25/2011
Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
If you want an order from the court you will have to file a petition.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/24/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
You DO have sole custody of your child since you were not married to him. He has no legal rights to him unless he were to file for paternity orders.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/24/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You have full custody by default until and unless he establishes his rights legally.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/24/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    No you can not. For full custody there must be a determination made by the Court.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You can either do nothing and wait for him to take action or commence a paternity action. The latter is the only way to establish "full custody".
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    It seems to me that you may already have full custody of your child by default. You said that the "father" is not around, that he is not on the birth certificate, and that the "father" has not signed an acknowledgment of paternity. I assume that the two of you were never married to each other. Assuming all of that to be true, then, from a strictly legal stand point, he is not the father. Until some appropriate legal action is taken to determine paternity, the "father" has no particular legal rights in or two the child at all. The down side of this is that until paternity is determined in some fashion, you're not going to be able to collect child support from him. Further, the state will likely insist upon determining paternity if you go on public assistance, as the state will want to try to get reimbursed from him.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    If the father has not filed an affidavit of parentage (different from a birth certificate), not filed a petition for paternity and custody or parenting time, you do not need to worry.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    As the biological mother and natural custodian of the child, in law already recognizes you as having full custody of the child in the absence of a valid court order stating otherwise. At this stage in matters, the putative father would have no rights with respect to this child until paternity has been established.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    You have sole custody and placement until or unless a father is determined by court order.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    You have full custody until the father takes some court action to establish his legal paternity. At this point, unless you are seeking child support or state benefits, there is no reason for you to push the issue. I suggest you consult an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, if a child is born out of wedlock, the father has no legal rights concerning the child until he obtains a Court Order stating that he is the Legitimate father of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    Does he know he is the dad?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    No, you can not get sole custody of your child without filing a petition with the court. However, if the father is not involved or on the birth certificate, the burden would be on the father to attempt to establish paternity and seek visitation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    It is a moot point. The father has no legal rights until paternity is established, so you don't need to do anything at this time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/24/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Well, on the facts you posit, for now, at least, you have full custody.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Until there is a court order establishing who the legal father is and setting out what his specific parental rights are, you are the only legal parent. Therefore, you do not need to do anything to "get full custody" - regardless of what you mean by that term. Colorado no longer uses the term "custody" and provides that courts may "allocate parental responsibilities" when judicial intervention is necessary. Sooner or later before the child is 18 years old, however, it is likely that some disputes will arise that will be difficult to handle without a court order. And, until there is a judicial determination, you have no means of collecting child support from the father. For those reasons, the best thing you can do for the benefit of your child is to begin a paternity case and have all parental rights and obligations established now.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you are not married to the father and the father has not legitimated the child, then by operation of law you have full custody of the child. If you are married to the father, he has custodial rights and you will gave to file a divorce and custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Under Arizona law, if the parents were never married and there are no court orders to the contrary, the parent with whom the child has resided for the greater part of the last six months has custody. Further, if you were not married to the father, then he would not have rights or obligations regarding the child unless/until he files a paternity action to claim those rights.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/23/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you are unmarried, in Georgia you have sole custody automatically and the father has no parental rights unless he seeks them in court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/23/2011
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