How can I get custody of my child? 29 Answers as of June 20, 2013I am a single mother of a 2 year old boy, the father of my son has been in and out of his life since he was 8 months old. I have had my son living with me and my family since he was 8 months old. I want to gain custody of my little boy so that his father will not take off with him to another state. I fear that one day he will.
Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
There is not information in your question to determine if you are married to the father of your son. I presume not. Therefore, you should file a Complaint for Separate Support seeking sole legal and physical custody of your son and request child support as well so that the father of your child can financially contribute to his upbringing.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
You don't specify whether you and the father of the child were ever married. If you were not, he has no rights to the child at all unless he first legitimates the child. This can be done with a simple form up to the child's first birthday; after that it must be done in a court action. If you two were never married and he never legitimated the child, him taking the child to another state would be kidnapping under both federal and state law.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
If you have never been married to the father, and he has not filed a legitimation action, and there is no current custody/visitation order, then you automatically have sole custody and there is nothing else you need to do. If you are married to the father, you need to file for divorce and ask for custody.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Since you apparently were never married, unless there has been a court case to legally declare that the man you say is the father is actually the legal father, he has no specific rights and you already have full legal authority. That means that he would be guilty of kidnapping if he took the child now. You could file a paternity case to have him legally declared the father and to have any specific parental rights set out in a court order. However, having that piece of paper will not prevent him from kidnapping the child if he is dead set on doing so; but, it might make it easier to get the child back if he does take him.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
An unmarried mother in Arkansas is deemed to have sole custody of her child unless the father has filed a petition for paternity in the circuit court and was awarded visitation or custody rights. If that has not been done you already have sole custody but in either case if he took the child he would be guilty of kidnapping.
Answer Applies to: Arkansas
Myles A. Schneider & Associates | David Cox
First, he cannot (legally) just run off with your son. If he does, call the police, and he may well end up in jail when they catch up with him. As to establishing custody, you must file a Petition to Establish Custody and Parenting Time (and child support if there is not already an order for that). In most cases, you should file the Petition in the County where you live. Call an attorney or, if you cannot afford one, go to Court Administration at the court house and ask for the forms you will need.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
If there has never been any court order, then you have "custody" by default if you were never married. However, if you want a court ruling that the child lives predominately with you, which would prevent him from removing the child to another state, then you should file a paternity action so that you can get a court order.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Anthony Saunders Esq., PLLC | Anthony M. Saunders
You will need to file court papers to establish parentage and custody of the child. This is advisable in any situation in which the parents of a minor child are not living together or married. In this scenario it can set up support obligations of the non-custodial parent and visitation. But most importantly, it establishes the primary custodial parent and can be used to prevent one parent from taking the child away from the other. Without such an order, there is not a lot to protect the parent. I advise speaking with an attorney to establish this.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
If the parents were not married, by default, the mother is the custodial parent and the father would have no enforceable parenting rights until they are established by a court. If a man is not married to a child's mother when the child is born, he can become the "legal" father through the "Recognition of Parentage" (ROP) process or by Court Order. However, such an adjudication still bestows no custody or parenting time rights on the father. To get a Court Order establishing paternity and establishing custody or parenting time, the father must commence an action for paternity, or where paternity is established, for custody and parenting time, in the local District Court of the county where the child lives.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
You must file immediately a Petition for Custody and get the Court to enter an order - after a hearing with evidence why you should have custody with only visitation for the father - that gives you custody. You are correct to worry about father taking off with the child, with no court order in place you each have just as much right to take the child as the other, so get into Court immediately.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
In Michigan, you need to get an order from the court that provided a divorce barring your ex-husband from taking your child. If you have not filed for divorce, you should do so and seek full custody. If there is not divorce, you should seek and order of paternity and custody in the court in the county where you live.
Answer Applies to: Michigan