How do I know who gets full custody of a child? 27 Answers as of August 05, 2011

The father of the baby has his name on the brith records, but there has been no custody filed by the courts. I would like to know who has full custody of this child the mother or the father? Also he pays no child support.

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
You should commence a paternity action so custody and support rights are clearly established.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/5/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Niether and both. Since there are no court orders and he is named (he is considered a putative father) and you both have equal rights. That said, he or she who has physical custody has the most at this time.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/20/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
No one has full custody unless a court grants it to a person. Without such an order both parents have joint custody. That father doesn't pay support is simply a matter of filing for support in court or with DSS.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/20/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
In Ohio, an unmarried mother has legal custody unless and until there is a court order saying otherwise. The father would need a court order to enforce even visitation rights.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/20/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
Who is raising this child? The father needs to pay child support.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 7/20/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Colorado no longer uses terms like "full custody" so your question fails to recognize the fact that a child should not be viewed as a possession "owned" by one parent or the other. Until there is a court order, the question of which parent has what authority is not specifically answered by the law. The fact that the father is listed on the birth certificate generally answers the question of whether or not he is legally the father, but it doesn't say anything about his specific rights or responsibilities. The answers to everything the parents can't agree upon require that one of the parents begin a paternity case and request the Court to confirm the legal status of the father and to allocate parental responsibilities between the parents based on what is in the child's best interests. That allocation will produce a court ordered parenting plan that defines where the child resides the majority of the time, which parent has what decision- making authority, what kind of parenting time schedule is appropriate to involve both parents in the child's life, and specific child support obligations based upon all the circumstances and each parent's income. The sooner that court action is accomplished, the sooner everyone can concentrate on the best interests of the child rather than their own personal interests.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    If no paperwork has been filed with the court, each parent has equal rights to custody of the child. What that means is that either the father or the mother may have custody until such a time that court orders are made. After you file your case with the courts, neither parent may leave the state with the child and the court can set up a parenting plan for custody and visitation. Additionally, until there have been support orders in place, neither parent is required to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Until further order of the court, in Ohio, when mother and father are not married, mother is the residential and custodial parent. Father has no specific rights. Mother may still seek child support. Please see a domestic relations attorney for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If this child was born out of wedlock then the Mother is presumed to have full custody of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    A paternity case should be filed and ,with that, a motion to establish custody and visitation. In your motion you can also ask for child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    Until the father's rights are established in a court of law, the mother has default custody of the minor child. If the father is refusing to return the child, you may need to hire an attorney to assist you, as the police will not. They will say it's a civil matter and to hire an attorney. You should consult with an attorney in your area as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    There are several things I cannot do: I cannot put sense in a fool's head. Any parent of the child who has not sought protection with the court concerning child support and custody is a fool. If I had the chance, I would use this to prove that that parent should not have custody of the child since they cannot make anything more than emotional and are not looking out for the child's best interests. We know that child support and financial assistance is a good thing. We know that having insurance for the child is in good thing. We know that being able to put food on the table and clothing on the child's back is a good thing. Any parent that decides her child does not meet these things should not be raising a child. The parents of the child are the presumed custodians. That presumption can be disputed where some 3rd party has been raising the childlike a grandparent. Even a person who is not a relative have been given certain rights under equitable parentage, a concept where a stepparent raises the child. This is also evidence that anyone letting someone else raise their child is incompetent to have custody.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    If the child was born outside of a marriage, the father has no legal rights in Georgia until he obtains a Legitimation Order. If the child was born during a marriage, there is no legal presumption of one parent over another.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    Under Arizona statute, if the parents were never married, then the parent with whom the child has lived with for the greater part of the last six months has custody. This is completely separate from the child support obligation. I recommend you speak with an attorney to determine whether it would be appropriate to file a court action to establish orders for custody/parenting time and child support.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A court makes custody determinations based on what a court believes to be in the child's best interests. Child support is an unrelated issue to a determination of child custody. Until a court is presented with a case to determine child custody, so long as the parents were not married when the child was conceived or born, the mother is considered the default custodian.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    Until someone goes to court to establish legal custody and visitation either parent can take the child. The police will not get involved until you have a court order. If he is the father and if his name is on the birth records, then you should agree to paternity and one of you need to retain a lawyer and file the appropriate papers with the court that will establish legal and physical custody over the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    If nothing filed with the courts, the mother has sole legal authority - custody and placement. The father needs to file a paternity action to establish legal rights.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The payment of child support is irrelevant other than it suggest who is or is not suitable for parenting. Both the Father and Mother have the same rights and responsibilities for the child until a parentage action is started.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    unit court orders there are no superior rights but residence will determine who the police would choose in the event of a disturbance
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    I assume that you and the father were never married. You said that the father's name is on the birth certificate. Did he also sign and file a paternity affidavit? If not, you will need to file a paternity action. Until paternity is established, he is only an alleged father. He has no particular rights to the child, but he also has no obligation to pay support. Once paternity is established, then, the court can enter a parenting plan, defining each of your rights in the child. It can also set child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
    Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
    The names on the birth certificate establish legal custody. The court will decide physical placement if the parties are unable to. A variety of factors establish what is in the child's best interest.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If the parents are not married and the father has not legitimated the child or been awarded any custody or visitation rights, the mother has full custody of the child and the father has no rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    If there is no court order, then neither parent has any specific rights over the other parent as to the child. In order to establish a parenting plan one parent will need to file a parentage action with the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    If it is a child of marriage, both. If not until a court makes a determination mom has sole legal custody.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC
    Gulstrom, Henson & Petrie, PC | Tami Monek
    Until order of the court, both natural parents are presumed to have equal custody of the child. Whether he pays child support does not enter into his custody rights.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    The father has NO custody or visitation rights unless he legitimizes the child and then is awarded rights. He can and probably should be put in jail for failure to pay support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    If he is ordered to pay child support (even if he isn't paying), mother has legal custody. If there is no custody or support order, then both parents have equal legal custody until a court order awarding custody to one parent is entered.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/20/2011
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