If I am still pregnant and don’t want the father of my baby to get custody because of his actions,can I get an attorney now to ensure my full custody? 1 Answers as of February 22, 2017

When the father and I were in contact, he refused to come to appointments, help me out, and would go back and forth at accepting if the baby was really his or not. Instead, he would rather get drunk, smoke weed, verbally abuse me, and harass me by calling me or showing up at my house at all hours of the night. He plays games and goes back and forth all the time (he is manipulative, conniving, and suffers from depression) and the last time I spoke with him he was threatening to come after me and my baby. I moved to a different state to get away from him out of fear and I am worried what would happen if he did decide to file for rights. The father has been clear about not wanting anything to do with the baby however, I'm afraid that his family will pressure him to file for parental rights for their own benefit. Long story short, I am wondering how parental rights work and if there's a way I can get full custody. I am still pregnant and have read that I cannot physically do anything until this baby is born, but I have been documenting everything that has happened since I have been pregnant. I guess my question is: is it better to leave it alone and not go to the courts to file for full parental rights and hope he leaves. Also, if he were hypothetically able to get some form of custody how would that work since we live in different states? Please help me understand all of this, I come from a family where no one is divorced or have had to deal with any type of parental rights so none of them can help me out or provide insight.

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Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
From what you've said, I have to assume you and the father were never married. Therefore, you have full custody of the child since there is no question about who the mother of a child is. Do not put the father's name on the birth certificate. Do not give him your new location/address. Just drop all contact including social media contact. That way, even if he were able to find you, he would have to make a parentage claim and do a DNA test to prove he is the father. He would then be required, first and foremost, to pay child support. If you never ask for support and never rely on public benefits (welfare, Medicaid, etc) he will likely lose interest and not come looking for you. If you do need public benefits, you will be asked to disclose his identity and the State will look for him to pay child support.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/22/2017
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