Does the father of my son have any rights if I haven't heard from him in six years? 22 Answers as of July 03, 2013

My son is 6 years old now. I haven't heard from his biological father since I was 6 months pregnant. I heard he was back in town and now I am afraid he will try to see my son. I do not want him to have anything to do with my child. Does he have any legal rights? If he does, what do I need to do to keep him away?

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Alfred Law Firm
Alfred Law Firm | Janice Alfred
If the child was born out of wedlock in the State of Georgia and the father has not filed a petition for legitimation, he has no legal parental rights.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/7/2011
Bruning & Associates, PC
Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
The father of your son does have a right to visitation. Visitation is almost always granted in these types of cases, unless the father has committed certain very serious crimes. The father also has the obligation to support his child. You are entitled to receive back child support from the date of birth, and you may also be entitled to recover a share of the expenses for the pregnancy and birth of your son.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 11/4/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Based upon the information you have provided, you might have an abiltiy to terminate the parental rights of the father. At the very least, if the Court does not terminate his parental rights, they could restrict his visitation if he has chosen to have no relationship with them. If the court does not terminate his parental rights, I would also consider filing for child support, at least that can be enforced against him.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/4/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
If you don't have any court papers for custody or placement (never been to court or any papers) then you have sole legal custody in wisconsin. He would have to file for rights to have any legal rights. If you have moved on with your life and are married, you could pursue termination of rights and adoption also.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 11/4/2011
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
Obtain restraining order, you'll need an attorney. You may want to obtain paternity test and file for child support.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/4/2011
    Law Office of James Bordonaro
    Law Office of James Bordonaro | James Albert Bordonaro
    Yes, he still has his legal rights but they are subject to being terminated for not supporting you while you were pregnant and the baby after he was born. You need to go to Court and file a Petition to Terminate his rights. This is rather complicated so you should look for an attorney to assist you. If he doesn't show up at the hearing he will lose his rights if he has gotten notice of the hearing. If he does show up, he is entitled to a free attorney and you may be required to pay his attorney fees. However, the law only requires that you show he didn't support you in the last six months of your pregnancy or he provided small amounts of money from time to time but was never really a father to the child. The law only requires that there be a two year "gap" in non-support prior to the time you file.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Did he sign an affidavit of parentage (not birth certificate) or is there an order of paternity?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    A father and a mother have equal rights until a court says otherwise. What you want is important but not "a legal justification" if that is what you want to know. Your only option is to simply go to court and get some orders, or if he shows up, decide what to do at that time, allow him visitation or deny it and if you deny it, prepare for him to file a lawsuit to force you to let him see the child. At that time, the Court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    If the biological father has not legitimated your son in Court, he has no legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Your child as a right to have a relationship with his father. If the father is abusive or has untreated substance abuse or psychological problems, you can seek court orders designed to protect the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
    The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
    Unless the court believes that the father poses a threat to the child, or that it would not be in the best interest of the child to have any contact with his father, most Family Court judges will at least allow him to have court ordered visitation. What you should do at the moment, however, is make a motion to Family Court in order to establish full child custody in your name. As part of the order you can also attempt to limit visitation by the father to a minimal level. With the court order in hand, you will be able to at least prevent the father from simply taking your son away or if the cops are called to handle the situation.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You didn't say what state the child was born in or the state you live in, and that affects the answer. In most states he has no rights at all, unless he goes to court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you have never married the father and he has not legitimated the child, thence has no rights to him, you have full legal and physical custody, and you have the right to keep the child from him. If you are married, thence has rights and you will need to file for divorce. I am assuming that there is no custody or visitation order already in place.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Linda C. Garrett Law
    Linda C. Garrett Law | Linda Garrett
    This is a very complex issue. You are seeking black-and-white answers to a VERY grey area of law. The outcome of your case will ultimately depend on the unique facts of your case. For instance, you may say that father "abandoned" the child; father might say, "mother hid the child from me." Evidence will determine who is telling the truth. Also, many scenarios may play out. For instance, Father may want nothing to do with the child-for fear of having to pay child support; or, father may file a motion with the court to establish parentage; or, you are legally entitled to file a motion for child support. As you can see, many scenarios can play out here. I strongly recommend you speak to a family-law attorney in your area to discuss your matter further. In the end, know this: if this matter goes to court, the court will make decisions that are in the "best interest of the child." That is the legal standard the court will follow Not your best interest or the dad's. The law supports a child being raised by two parents-even if the parents are dysfunctional. As the court and law see it, a bad father is better than no father.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    First, two important questions: (1) were you and the person you're saying is the father ever married to each other and (2) was there ever a paternity determination made, either through the declaration process or through court action? If the answer to both of those questions is NO, then, the best that the man is at this point is an "alleged father." As an alleged father, he doesn't have much if any rights to the child. On the other hand, he doesn't have to pay child support either.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Hmmm..."The father of my son...". I am going to take a leap of faith and assume you were never married and he never asked the court, and was never granted by the court, visitation. Absent a specific order of the court under those circumstances, he has no rights whatsoever regarding the child. However, if the father of your child was your husband, then he has as many rights to see the child as you. Please see a domestic relations attorney near you for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Ruiz Law Group, P.C.
    Ruiz Law Group, P.C. | Frances Ruiz
    The father of the child has legal rights to visit with the child. The Court may order the visits to be supervised or with a therapist due to the lapse of time the father has not seen the child. There is not much you can do to keep him away but I would think that now that he is back child support would also be an issue.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If the father is not on the birth certificate that suggests that there has never been any judicial proceeding to declare him to be the legal father or to give him any specific parental rights. If that is true, he has no rights and you have full legal authority to deny him any access to the child until a court establishes paternity and specific legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka
    Law Office of Joseph M. Rameaka | Carol L. Ricker, Esq.
    In RI, the court would take a very hard look at these circumstances and would most likely award you sole custody and placement of the child. The court would do this upon your filing the appropriate motions with the court through your attorney. The court may order that some form of visitation occur - beginning with letter writing and then slowly progressing. Clearly your attorney would fight very hard for you in terms of protecting you and your son's interests.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 11/3/2011
    DiOrio and Sereni LLP
    DiOrio and Sereni LLP | Robert M. DiOrio
    You may be able to involuntarily terminate his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 11/3/2011
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