What can I do to ensure that my boyfriend does not take my child? 23 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I am not married and never have been but I have a 1 year old child with my current partner. I have reason to believe that he is cheating and he is trying to leave me but Im afraid he has not because he is trying to find a way to take my child once he leaves. I dont care if he leaves but I want to ensure that he cant take my child. What can i do?

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Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
Commence a paternity action and have a court ordered residential schedule established.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
You must file a petition in the child support court and receive a Court Order making you the custodial parent.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/19/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
The only way for custody to be determined is for one party to file a custody and/or paternity action and seek a court order. Until that occurs, in a situation where the parents are unmarried, the presumptive custodial parent is the mother.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/18/2011
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
File a paternity action.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/18/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
First you have to accept the following premise - if he is the father of the child, it is not "my child" as you say it is "our child" meaning if he is the father he has rights too. Second, until a court rules otherwise both mom and dad have equal rights to access, possession, custody, and to make decisions for the child. With these two matters in mind, you have a choice to make, either file a suit to establish paternity and get custody orders or wait for what you fear to either happen or not. There is nothing you can do without a court order to prohibit a putative father from exercising his rights which are equal to yours. Like it or not, if he is the father, he has rights. It is a myth that Mom has superior rights to Dad. Albeit many men believe this myth. The fact of the matter is a man who is a father does not have to accept Mom's decisions carte blanche, either party can seek primary custody, either party can ask for establishment of paternity, and both parties have rights, duties, and obligations that are equal in all respects until a court rules otherwise.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/17/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you see a lawyer about your rights and options, including a paternity suit. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    There is nothing you can do to guarantee that your boyfriend won't kidnap your child. But, unless there is a court order establishing that he is the child's legal father and granting him some specific parenting rights and responsibilities, his taking the child is, in fact, kidnapping. To clarify what specific rights he has so that you can more easily enforce the rules, you should begin a paternity case to clearly determine that he is the father, what his parental rights are, and what is financial support obligations are.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/17/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    You should speak with an attorney about filing a paternity action (including issues relating to custody and parenting time). This way, the court can be involved in making a determination regarding your child's best interests and arranging a schedule that is best for your child.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO
    Lewis, Pfanstiel & Williams, PCLO | Ryan J. Lewis
    You can file a complaint to establish custody and get a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    Obtain custody rights by filing an application in Superior Court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Without a court order, your boyfriend cannot remove the child from the home to live elsewhere. 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: 8/16/2011
    Horizons Law Group, LLC
    Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
    Perhaps you can leave with your child? Since you are not married, he has no legal rights, and you have sole legal custody (by statute - laws on the books). This is true until either of you ask the court to get involved and make orders.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    You should immediately contact a family law attorney and file a Petition for Custody and Visitation. Until there are custody orders in place each of you has equal rights to the child. The only way to make sure that he does not take your child is to obtain custody orders.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    You need to go to court with a family law attorney to obtain a court order that clearly establishes what your custody rights are so this cannot happen. Go to wklaw.com for more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    File a parentage action, seek ex parte and temporary orders when you file.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Absent an order from the court to the contrary, you are both the legal custodians and a residential parent. At this time, your boyfriend has no say over the child at all. Please discuss your rights with a domestic relations attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    If he goes and takes the child without first resorting to the court, it's kidnapping. You need to establish parentage by a paternity test. Contact DHR and they will assist you in this. This will ensure he pays support for the child when you or he leaves. If he is not the father it would be kidnapping regardless.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Rhonda Ellifritz | Rhonda Ellifritz
    If he signed the birth certificate, he is the presumed father. He cannot take your child away, but rather, is allowed to share visitation with you. In this case, you need to file for a court order for custody, visitation and support. If he did not sign anything that claims he is the father, he must establish his paternity before he will have any rights over the child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Do nothing. Under Georgia law you have sole custody and unless he first legitimizes the child he has no right to custody or visitation and cannot take the child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    If you are the primary caretaker of your baby, the most that the biological father can assume would be a parenting timeshare. You should file a paternity petition establishing that your soon to be ex boyfriend is legally responsible for the child and ask for child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    An unmarried mother is deemed to have sole custody of her child(ren). If your partner has not legally established paternity through the courts his rights are minimal. In order for you to collect child support you will need to file a petition of paternity.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/16/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If the father has not legitimated the child, he has no rights to the child and you have full custody; he has no legal right to leave with the child and if he does you can call the police and/or call a lawyer to begin a court action to get the child returned.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/16/2011
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