How can I get custody of a child if we are not married? 4 Answers as of May 18, 2012Im not marry but have child with my bf but we arent working and i want to go back canada and i need him to write notarize consent letter but he refuse to sign it for me. Now i want full custody of the child but im dont have a job at the time. He is very unfit father and he own 3000you in child supports from his 2 childrens. Im wondering how much will cost me or how do i start about getting full custody of my child who is 6months old.
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
The process for gaining custody of a child is pretty much the same whether you and the father are married or not. It is straight-forward but potentially long and complicated either way. Your case begins by filing a Petition to Determine Parental Relationship, in common terms, a paternity case. In your petition, you outline what you want, including your desire to return to Canada. The court issues a summons to go with your Petition and you serve both on the father. You may, but are not required to, set a hearing to determine temporary custody. That is done by way of an Order to Show Cause, another set of forms. You can also just wait to see if the father responds in writing within 30 days of being served. If he does not, he forfeits his right to a seat at the table when custody is being decided. You can proceed without him. Moving to another state within the US is pretty close to automatic if you have a good reason to move. Another country is another matter, but it is not impossible. You should not give up but you should plan on it taking a while. At some point in the process you and he will end up talking with a mediator. He or she will try to help the two of you make a plan for sharing your child with which you can both live. I know you say he is an unfit father and you may be correct as to what would be best for your child, but you picked him and that is an issue that can't be fixed. If you and he can't agree then the mediator will make a recommendation to the judge. Judges usually, but not always, go along with the mediator's recommendation. That is most likely to be the key decision point. The problem with answering your question in this format is that there are so many decision points and what ifs in the process that it would practically require a treatise to point out all the possibilities. This is nowhere close to a comprehensive answer. It is just a bare outline, if that. If you want a lawyer, the cost will range for $2000 to the-sky-is-the-limit. Again, it is going to depend a lot on what he says and does. Talk is cheap. He may fold like a cheap tent once you actually go to court. Filing fees are $395, but can be waived if you have no income. Every California court has an office called the "family law facilitator". They will help you choose what papers to complete and help you to complete them. They will not go to court for you or give you legal advice beyond what papers and how to complete them, but it is a whole lot better than nothing. Go on the website of your local court and see what resources are available. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
You need to file an action with the court in the county in which the child resides to have parentage determined and a parenting schedule set up by a mediator. The family law facilitator at your courthouse should be able to help you at no charge.
Answer Applies to: California