Could I get sole custody of my child and how soon can I start the process? 8 Answers as of June 29, 2013

I'm currently 7 months pregnant & my babys father has just been in & out of our lives. He currently found a new gf & is now completely not interested in our childs life. He will not cooperate with me to get things settled custody wise & says he refuses to take a dna test. I just found out he had a kid he signed his rights over. He has two kids already & I'm not sure if to just get him to sign his rights over to me or get sole custody of the child. His interest isnt there for our baby. He has not helped out with any of the things the baby needs like his crib. His only intentions are to try & control me & I know its not for him wanting to be there for our son... If he signs his rights over to me would he still be responsible for child support? Could I get sole custody of my child? Should I just have him sign his rights away & how soon can & should start the process? Thank you for your time!

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Law Offices of Nadine M. Sayegh
Law Offices of Nadine M. Sayegh | Nadine M. Sayegh
You should have paternity proven in court, custody granted to you and child support awarded because this is the only way you will get child support. If your ex signs away all rights, that it includes your right to collect child support. Sometimes people find it is emotionally easier for them to just have the other parent sign away their rights but in the long run, if you ever have financial difficulties taking care of your child, you'll have no recourse against the other parent if you pursue that option. Also, you will have to wait until you have the baby to file the requisite paperwork even if you begin the process now. If you opted to have him sign away his rights, he could also admit paternity in the same process and you wouldn't have to wait because you wouldn't necessarily need to file this paperwork with the courts unless you had some other reason(s) to do so.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/6/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
You could file immediately. The father cannot give up his rights totally unless your child is being adopted. But he can be forced to pay support and to
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2013
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
Wow. So many misconceptions. So little space. There is no such thing as "sole" custody. There is legal custody and physical custody. Right now, you have both because you are walking around with the child in utero. When the child is born, if he does not come to the hospital or otherwise take responsibility for the child, the likelihood that he would obtain custody is zero. He cannot both deny and assert at the same time. And he can only control you if you let him. You can file an action to determine paternity now. You won't be able to complete it until after the child is born, but he can be served and the case started. The paternity case is also the forum within which to litigate custody and support issues. You can also wait until the birth has occurred and then begin the case. The summons has to be personally served, but it can be done by any adult other than you. Your local Family Law Facilitator (at the Superior Court) can help you with papers. You can ask for custody orders. If he files papers and comes to court he can participate in the process. If he just puts his head in the sand, he is going to be "papa", you are going to have a custody order that says whatever it should say and you can also obtain a child support order. He cannot unilaterally "sign away his rights". You have to agree and then, ultimately, a judge has to agree. Yes, if he is not the father, he is not the father. Period. You can't be half in and half out. So, if he is the father, then he can ask for custody time. He will get the time that is appropriate to the child's circumstance and his. No, he won't be able to take the child away overnight 3 days after the child is born. But also, no, you can't keep him completely away until the child is 5. The custody arrangement have to make some sense.? He has to pay child support if he is the father, unless he is himself already on welfare or totally disabled. He is not paying child support so he can exercise custody time. He is paying support because he is the father.? He does not receive parenting time if he pays. He gets parenting time if he is the father, unless awarding it would be damaging to the child. To get an order where he never sees the child, he would have to be a beast. While it sounds as though he is a cad, he doesn't seem to be a beast. The fact that he has fathered other children and walked away from them does not speak well for him. Neither does it speak well of you for allowing a man to father your child without some idea of who he is. Were I in your shoes, I would start the process now and complete it as soon after the birth as possible. Be assertive and realistic.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/6/2012
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
Immediately file an action to determine custody, support and parentage even though the baby is not yet born. The court can made orders concerning these matters pre-birth. The family law facilitator at the court can help you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/6/2012
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
File a Paternity case, and have the father served. Under the circumstances that you relate, you likely will receive full custody of your child, and based on the father's income, you may receive a child support order plus orders requiring him to pay some and/or all of the birth-related expenses. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you, or at least have a face-to-face consultation with an experienced Family Law Attorney. If you can't afford an attorney, you may qualify for an attorney fee order if the father is employed, but you would have to apply for an attorney fee order, in that event. Also, if you can't afford an attorney, you can go to your local Superior Court's self-help clinic for advice and assistance from a volunteer lawyer. You can start the process now, before the child is born. A father can't sign his "rights" to a child away (other than for an adoption), although he can agree that he won't have any child custody or visitation. If the father has no child custody or visitation, his Child Support obligation would be the highest, because Child Support is based on the parties' respective incomes and the percentage of the Father's custodial timeshare.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/6/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You could go to court and get an order to have sole legal and sole physical custody. If he is willing to sign over his rights, then you can also attempt to terminate his parental rights but at this point I don't know that the court would grant it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/6/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    You should be able to get sole custody of your child. He can sign away his rights but that will not end his responsibility for support. Once the baby is born then you should file a parentage action to get custody. You should consult a family law attorney or facilitator about how to do the necessary paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/6/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You should consider an order that grants you sole legal and physical custody and a step parent adoption if you intend to marry a candidate that wishes to adopt the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/6/2012
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