If I leave my pregnant girlfriend, will it affect my child custody rights? 16 Answers as of June 09, 2013

I'm living with my pregnant girlfriend. My mail goes to my personal address. If I leave will it hurt me with custody? I have my own home where my mail goes. It is my address as far as the bank, my job, ect is concerned.

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Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
When the child is born the custody will likely be primarily with the mother based on the age of the child, particularly if she intends to nurse the child. However a court encourages frequent and continuing contact with both parents so you would likely be able to have visitation with the child often. As the child gets older, you would have increased custody and ultimately you would likely have joint custody, barring all other issues. Where you reside during the pregnancy does not change that. If the mother does not place you on the birth certificate you would need to establish paternity prior to any orders for custody or visitation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/2/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The answer may depend on many different issues. Certainly, being away from a minor child can impact custody and parenting time decisions by a court. So, too can residing in a home that is not considered a stable environment. You must consult with legal counsel regarding your particular case.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/29/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
You do not have to live with your girlfriend to be a part of your child's life. You are allowed to live in a separate home and still visit your child on a regular basis. It is important that you support that child, emotionally, physically, and financially no matter where you decide to reside.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/29/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
Child custody - always a complicated thing. A child's life is involved, who is going to raise the boy/girl, who is going to care for and love him/her, and who is going to pay for what the baby needs. The Judge will do what is best for the child. You leaving your girlfriend is a huge thing; I can not tell what effect that will have. I do not know why your address would be important. But I do know a lot of other things that are important. You need some advice. You need information that will let you make better choices for yourself and your child. I can help you with this. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the telephone call and no charge for the first office visit.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/29/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
No, it will not.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/9/2013
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    That act of leaving your girlfriend in and of itself will not hurt your custody rights. As a new mother, if she intends on breast feeding, this can certainly effect your chances of gaining majority timesharing. There are many factors that go into the determination of what is in the best interest of the child. I suggest you consult an experienced Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You will still have parental rights and will have to pay child support. Here is a link you may find useful: http://www.jud.ct.gov/lawlib/Notebooks/Pathfinders/RightsofUnmarriedParents/ Unmarried.htm#sec2
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    First, it sounds like you and the mother are not married to each other. Assuming that to be the case, then, essentially, you have no custody or visitation rights until paternity is established in some manner. That can be either through the paternity declaration process or through court action. Once paternity is established, then, the court can enter a parenting plan giving you some sort of visitation with the child. Since it sounds like we are talking about custody of a new born, the mother will likely be the primary residential parent, and you will get some visitation. Again, because the child will be a new born, your visits are likely to be short frequent visits, rather than the longer visits you would get with an older child. As to whether your leaving will impact your custody/visitation chances, there may be some impact, but, the biggest impact is likely to come from the fact that you are talking about a new born.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    When you are found to be the father then you would have parental rights. Until there is a Court determination that you are the father then you have NO rights as a child born of an unwed mother belongs to the mother.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    Tough question. Make sure you continue to financially provide for her (the baby).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    How much contact you have with your child depends on what's best for your child. What's best for your future child depends on what kind of needs he/she has and how well you vs. the Mother can supply those needs.What do you know about infants? What do you know about the developmental progress that a child goes through in the first 6 weeks, three months, 6 months and year of life?Do you think knowing those things might be more important than where your mail goes?What does staying with the Mother vs. leaving the mother say about your parenting abilities.Learn what an infant needs and how you can satisfy those needs.Maximize your performance of these parenting functions.You'll then maximize your relationship with the child.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If you are unmarried, you have no custody rights in Georgia unless you first, after birth, legitimate the child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    No, moving will not effect your custody & visitation rights. However, to avoid the drama, you may want to wait until after the birth.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No. Parenting rights and responsibilities are decided based on what is in the child's best interest. But, if you never become involved in raising an infant, there isn't much argument that you should be allowed to get involved later.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    You will not lose your right to have a lifetime relationship with your baby on the way. Be proactive in participating in prenatal and birth planning if you can, being present at the hospital during delivery is a strong testament to your desire to parent the child and ,if this is your first baby, it may be a good idea to get some training on infant care and feeding.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
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