Can I legally keep my daughter from her father until we go to court? 1 Answers as of August 31, 2011

I would like to know if it is legal for me to keep my daughter from her dad until we go to court? Here's a quick overview of my situation. My daughter is 14 months old and from the day she was born I have been her primary parent, she lived with me ( I was living with my parents) and her father lived with his parents. Since her birth and up until to months ago she has never spent the night with her father alone. He's basically never had her for more than 7 hours alone with no help of any kind her whole life. Well two months ago we decided to try the "living as a family" thing and needless to say it isn't working out due to several issues (none being abuse though) and 2 nights ago the arguing got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore and told him that I was going to pack me and my daughter a bag and go to my parents for the night. He picked up my daughter and said that his daughter wasn't going anywhere. I continued to pack and load the bags in the car and when I went to get my daughter from him he wouldn't let me have her so I called the police to have their assistance with the matter. When they showed up he had at that time walked around the corner of our apartment building with her and one of the cops spoke with him and then the other came and talked to me. The cop informed me that me and him both have the same and equal rights to her and that basically they couldn't tell either of us who could have her that it came down to who at the time of their leaving had "possession" of her is who she could stay with which was her dad. In the meantime of all this happening my parents showed up and my daughter started crying for my mom so her dad let my mom take her to stop her crying and to change her diaper. So then at that time I was in "possession" of my daughter, after another 30 minutes of them talking to my daughter's father they told him that I was staying at the house and that he would have to leave. They let him get some clothes.

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This is one time the cops got it right. At this moment in time, there are no court orders. Therefore both parents have equal rights. Your best bet is to get a lawyer now, file for establishment of paternity and ask for child support orders and visitation/possession orders. The sooner you start the better.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/31/2011
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