Can my boyfriend take my daughter if I break up with him? 21 Answers as of May 25, 2011

My boyfriend and I have an 18-month-old daughter. But things are not going good and I want to leave him, he said the other day that if I leave him that he is taking her with him. Is that possible?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Keri Burnstein, P.C.
Keri Burnstein, P.C. | Keri Burnstein
If you and your boyfriend have a child together but you have not custody papers then either one of you has the same right, so to speak, for your child. You each have the right to have the child with you. I would recommend speaking with a family law attorney and filing for custody, parenting time and support.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/25/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
In New York State, a parent cannot unilaterally take a child without the other parent's permission and in the absence of a court order. If you break up with your boyfriend and cannot agree on custody, then the matter will have to be submitted to a Family Court judge to make a ruling on custody of your daughter.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/24/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
If he is the father, yes. A father has the same rights as a mother where children are concerned until a Court Order is issued stating otherwise.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/23/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
No, hire a family law attorney and go to court for a formal custody and visitation order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
He would need a custody order to do it. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
    Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
    It sounds like your situation is becoming quite heated. In general, no parent can "take" a child and deprive the other parent of access to that child. Taking a child without a parenting plan and/or court order can constitute the crime of Custodial Interference. Custodial Interference is a felony. You should contact an attorney about making a parenting plan, and resolving any residency/visitation issues.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Sure why not, assuming he's the father. You have no more rights to the child than he does,if he's the father. To get more rights, file a parentage action and get a parenting plan and child support in place. good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Grigsby Firm
    The Grigsby Firm | Sherlock Grigsby
    Depending on circumstances he could be granted custody of the child. But you could also be granted custody as well. Is he listed on the child's birth certificate? If not, and there is a paternity dispute, this would have to be resolved prior to the court deciding the custody issue.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    I will assume your boyfriend acknowledged paternity and is listed on the birth certificate. Under Washington law it would be up to the court to determine the residential schedule for the child with each of you. If you break up, you should file an action to have a parenting plan established, and bring a motion for a temporary parenting plan pending final resolution.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Berner Law Group, PLLC
    Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
    Is he on the birth certificate and has a paternity affidavit been filed? You two could literally end up having a tug of war over the child unless you take legal action yourself. If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to call me to schedule a free initial consultation-either in person or by phone-about your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If the parents are unmarried and there has been no court determination of custody, the mother is considered by law to be the default custodial parent unless or until an order is entered to the contrary. As a result, your boyfriend would have to seek a court order to determine custody and/or a temporary order that grants him temporary custody to prevent you from leaving with the child.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You need some advice and assistance from a family law attorney. He is threatening some horrible things, and you should not have to remain with him because of his threats. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Without court orders you & he technically have equal rights. You should apply for custody/visitation orders
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    It is possible, although it may not be the right thing for him to do. You should file a Paternity case and seek sole custody of your daughter. You would best be represented by an experienced Family Law Attorney. You may be entitled to an award of Attorney's fees in your Paternity Case, as well as custody and child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washing State, it depends on if he has been adjudicated the father. The best interests of the child will ultimately control.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    It's *possible* - but not legal. The mother of a child born out of wedlock automatically has sole legal and physical custody of her children. He (or you) would have to file an action for custody/visitation to establish any parental rights that differ from that.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assume Oregon law applies: Is your boyfriend the father? Is so, he has as much right to be with the child as you do. You have equal rights under the law. Other than that, I need to know much more about your particular situation to advice further.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If there has never been any judicial proceeding to declare your boyfriend the "legal father" or grant him specific parenting rights, he has no legal authority to do anything and if he takes the child he could be considered guilty of kidnapping, but that will depend on how the cops view it if he does. If you believe he might actually take the child, or if he might become violent in any way, your best course of action would be to file a paternity suit to have court set out what specific rights he will have, if any, and what his monetary child support obligation will be. If you don't do something now, you are facing another 18 years of potential conflict and dispute. You should consult an attorney right away to get a better understanding of your options.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Ultimately, paternity will need to be established and an order for custody and visitation will need to be made. In the interim, it may be possible for one party to take the child without letting the other see the child, although that is likely short term and not an advisable course of action, as the courts don't approve of such conduct. If you are in my area and need an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    Who the child stays with will depend on what the court decides is in the best interest of the child. This is NOT an issue to leave to yourself. With that threat, you had better get yourself competent legal representation. With the right attorney, we can develop a plan to be as sure as you can that you end up being the primary physical custodian of your child. I again caution you about "dabbling" in the fierce legal world of custody and visitation disputes. If you lose at the first, you will have to live with that consequence and perhaps live without your child, except for visitations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/19/2011
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney