How can I get full custody before my ex gets out of jail if my child isn't born yet? 25 Answers as of June 23, 2011

I was wondering how I would get full custody? I am 20 years old. My ex boyfriend is 23 yrs old and is currently in jail due to burglary and attempt of theft and has these things in his criminal history also. He keeps writing me about getting a paternity test to get joint custody over my child that's not even here yet. He hasn't had a job in over a year and I don't want my child to have anything to do with him. He is a bad person to be around and I'm scared my child would be in danger. What am i supposed to do seeing how I only have 26 days before my son is born?

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
If you are concerned for your own safety or that of your child, I would advise you to immediately ask the court a temporary protection order. There are facilitators available at the court to help you with the process. If you are unmarried, you should consider establishing paternity when your child is born. This can be done with a simple test. I would also suggest meeting with an attorney to draft a parenting plan. Your attorney will help you to explain the reasons for your fears in that parenting plan, and s/he will help you in your request to limit custody, visitation, etc.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
Retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file and serve a Paternity case under the Uniform Parentage Act, requesting full custody to you and no custody or visitation to the father, attaching a Declaration to your Petition to Establish Parental Relationship containing facts justifying why the father should have no custody or visitation rights.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You should seek a protection order now. After your child is born, you should seek a similar order for the child as well, or within the paternity process.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/13/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Custody cannot be determined by a court unless or until a child is born. Once that occurs, if the parents are unmarried, the mother would be the presumptive custodial parent under law until a court order enters establishing custody and parenting time rights.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/10/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
You should hire an experienced family law attorney to assist you. If what you say is correct, then there is a good likelihood that you can obtain sole parental responsibility for the child and limit his time sharing or visitation with the child. He would still have to pay child support. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available. If you would like to coordinate a free initial telephone consultation, please contact my office.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/10/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You need to file your custody motion now while the other party is still in jail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    Start your Paternity Action right after the baby is born. A judge is more likely to give it to you the younger the child is.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    In Minnesota, the mother is presumed to have full physical and full legal custody of a child that is born out of wedlock. However, he has the right to ask the Court to order a paternity test. If he is determined to be the father then he has the right to ask the Court to award him custody and parenting time. If he is found to be the father, then there is a presumption that he will have the child 25% of the time.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do until after the child is born. Then you can file an application for custody. If he questions paternity, dna testing will be necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    The answer is that you cannot do anything until there is a born child over which to litigate paternity. Now, you have a decent case. File a Paternity action.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    You have custody until he petitions a court for joint custody, which he won't get, or visitation rights, which he might get. Depending on circumstances, you may have the court require supervised visitation. He will also be on the hook for child support. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    First, you're not married, he's in jail and he wants joint custody? Not likely. Speak to a local expert in child custody matters and I suggest he can be defeated rather soundly and perhaps relatively easily. On the other hand, if it's really his baby too, then he may have a right to visitation and nothing more. Fear not, even the courts know enough to resist such a request by him for that. Also, joint custody means the parties get along when it comes to the child. It doesn't sound like you want to get along with him much. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    You should hire a lawyer and file a petition for custody on the day the child is born. There is no way to keep father out of the life of your child unless he presents an actual danger to him. The potential for danger because he is a criminal man, is not sufficient to deny him the opportunity to prove that he is either a decent father or a terrible father. You can get custody because he is unavailable while in jail or prison. Do not wait for him to get out and file. You should file while he is in jail. You can attempt to do this on your own, but you should hire a lawyer. Do not put this off. Take care.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Ohio, a mother who has a child while not married is until order of the court the sole residential and custodial parent. Also in Ohio, you would be entitled to a domestic violence civil protection order to keep the ex 1000 feet from you and your child or he could be arrested. Please consult a local lawyer to discuss the best way to protect yourself and your child.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If you are in Georgia, you as the mother automatically have full custody and control of a child born out of wedlock - the father has no rights. The father would have standing to petition the court to legitimate the child and ask for visitation and custodial rights once the child is born; you do have the right to object to this. But unless and until he does this you have all custody, power, and control of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Komanapalli Massey LLP
    Komanapalli Massey LLP | Mark A. Massey, Esq.
    Don't worry. At most, given his proclivity toward criminal conduct and unemployment, he would be very fortunate to be allowed very limited supervised visitation, meaning he is likely not to be allowed ever to be around the child unless someone you approve of or a paid professional monitor (paid for by him) is there to watch them. Furthermore, unless you put his name as father on the baby's birth certificate, he will be required to petition the family law court to allow him to establish that he is the father. The court might order blood DNA testing if he did, but it would not be apt to allow him any sort of shared custody if you object - for the reasons I stated. Call if he does attempt to petition the court, or if he continues to harass you, and we will make sure that what I told you comes true and we will get a restraining order to keep him away from you, including stopping all phone calls.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Need to wait until the baby is born usually.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    You failed to state what state you live in and the answer will vary by state. My answer is for Georgia. You need to do nothing at all. You are reacting to a problem that does not exist. In Georgia, your boyfriend has zero rights to see the child (but must support the child). A paternity test does not change that. The only way for him to change that is to file a legitimization. If he files one, then you need a lawyer. If he does not, you can simply choose to ignore him. So throw his letters in the trash can and enjoy your baby.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    After your child is born, you can request custody and visitation orders, but if he can demonstrate to the court that he should have a parental role in the child's life (assuming that it is genetically his), then he will be able to get custody and visitation orders. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Do not worry about anything except taking care of yourself during your pregnancy, and enjoy it. If your medical expenses are being paid by the state, or if you receive any public assistance, ask your caseworker to initiate support enforcement proceedings against your ex boyfriend. The state will conduct paternity tests to determine if he's the father. If he is, he will pay child support. Under Oregon law, the court cannot award joint legal custody if you do not agree to it. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    In Washington, before your son is born, you can get an order of protection against the Father if there has been domestic violence. As soon as your son is born, file a parentage action, seek an ex parte retraining order and temporary orders requesting what you want. My best guess, that unless the Father has been violent, he's going to get to see his son. Maybe you can get it supervised but that will be expensive and the court might not consider the infant in danger of being corrupted. Are there drugs involved. That might help your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law he would not have any rights to the child until he is legally determined to be the father. I don't believe he is going to be able to have that determined until after the child is born. However, you should consult with an attorney in your area to discuss ways in which you can protect yourself and your child.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Until your boyfriend goes to court, after the child is born, and gets a judge to (a) compel DNA testing to establish paternity (unless you agree he is the father) and (b) convinces a judge to give him some specific parental rights, you can't and don't need to do anything - you will have "full custody" until a court orders something different. Technically, Colorado no longer uses the term custody at all - the Court will have to "allocate parental responsibilities, decision-making authority, and establish parenting time". Those decisions will be based upon the best interests of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    You'll have to wait till the child is born then file. Petition with the family court... Don't use his name or anything on the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    You should go ahead and retain a family law lawyer in your community as soon as possible, so that you will be prepared to file just as soon as possible. Your attorney will also be able to discuss all your rights and options as to a paternity suit. Good luck and best wishes!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/9/2011
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