What parental Rights does my childs father have if he has never been in his life? 22 Answers as of May 31, 2011

My son is now 9 months old and has never met his biological father; his name is also not on the birth certificate. He has never paid any child support. His father has been contacting me lately saying that he has been going to therapy lately and he eventually wants to be around and have some type of custody and visitation rights. I was wondering if he were to take me to court, what type of rights/visitation would they grant him given these circumstances?

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Berner Law Group, PLLC
Berner Law Group, PLLC | Jack Berner
Father could take you to court via a paternity action and secure both residential time and decision-making authority. You need to maintain control over the situation by taking legal action first! If you reside in Western Washington, feel free to contact my office to schedule a free, initial consult-by phone or in person-to discuss your situation.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/31/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
If he is the bio father then he will be able to have some visitation rights. Think about a compromise or wait until he takes you to court.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
It's not possible to give you an answer regarding what custody/visitation orders a judge may issue without doing a deeper analysis of the facts (which are missing from your question). Custody/visitation orders are based on a child's "best interests." Many factors (again, not stated in your question) go into a custody/visitation determination. Call a local family law lawyer and discuss all the relevant facts to get a better idea of what would be a proper parenting plan. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/27/2011
Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
In Illinois, once paternity is established, the courts will order child support and a visitation schedule will either be set forth by the courts or if you two can agree upon a schedule without the courts help, you may do so on your own, but he, as the biological father, will have rights to visit his child and will also have an obligation to financially care and support that child as well.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/27/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
Short, frequent visits building up to more time over a period. It could be supervised if appropriate or different if your child was older.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/27/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    If you and the father can't agree, the decisions that a court will make will be based upon what a judge believes is in the best interests of the child. That will require an analysis of the facts and circumstances at the time the judge has to decide what to do. Obviously, the longer the father waits to do that, the less regular involvement in parenting there might be. If the judge believes the father sincerely and reliably wants to be involved in the child's life, he will probably get some specific parenting time rights (i.e. visitation) consistent with the child's age and other relevant factors.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    I am not sure of the answer you are looking for but I don't think this will be the answer you want. He sounds like, based on your email, that he is getting his act together and wants to be an active role in his child's life. That being the case, the courts in Connecticut will give him that chance and will let him develop a strong bond with his son. Assuming nothing bad happens, eventually it will advance to overnights and weekends like a traditional case would.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law the father might first have to ask the court to establish that he is the father (possibly through DNA testing). One established as the father, there s a good chance the court would grant him some visitation, and require him to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would recommend that you consult with a family lawyer in your own community about all your rights and options, in the event he files a petition for legitimation. No one can predict what will happen. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    There simply is not enough information to answer your question with any certainty. What I can tell you is that the fact he (Dad) has not been there for 9 months does not change the fact that he is the biological father and a father has rights. He can take you to court for custody/visitation - this is accomplished with a Suit to Establish Paternity. Once Paternity is established, he can ask for visitation or even ask for custody. Please read that carefully, I said "HE CAN ASK" . Whenever either Mom or Dad asks for custody, visitation, etc. the Court's only concern is what is best for the child. How much Dad's being absent will count towards that decision is based on many factors, credibility of the parties, your past, his past, the child's needs, his ability to act as a father, etc. If you are asking if you can keep him from every seeing the child . . . the answer is no. Not if he (Dad) wants to see the child and takes some action to do so. Unless Dad is such a horrible person that he cannot be a father, the Court will give him some access, even it if is limited or even supervised.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    Hard to say. the child's father is in therapy. Does he have drug, violence or mental health problems? You have rights here, and you can make sure that your son is safe. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    It would probably involve therapy to determine if such exposure is in the child's best interest and if so how to start the process. You have the right to seek back child support as well.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/27/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    He would have no enforceable rights unless or until he files an action and establishes rights in court.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Probably very limited at first. I would not be surprised if his visitation was supervised at first, at least until your child knows his father and is comfortable being around him. Once that happens, his time would gradually be increased over a period of time to allow them to have a normalized relationship. If you are in my area and are looking for an attorney, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Standard visitation typically includes every other weekend and alternating holidays. Also, one month of the summer is standard. If he is no risk to the child, then standard is to be expected. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    Not much, at least to start with, but every child deserves a mother and a father, and if the father is getting therapy and is stepping up to the plate, you should try to facilitate a healthy relationship between the child and the father. Typically, where the father hasn't been around, but has decided to be and act as a father, the Court provides for visitation in small steps.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    In Oregon, if paternity is established in the birth father, then his legal rights are the same as any other father. Depending on circumstances, he could eventually be allowed substantial parenting time, be ordered to pay child support and have to be a father. If he is capable, what a good thing for his child to have two loving parents.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Edward Papa, Esq.
    Edward Papa, Esq. | Edward Papa
    He is the father and can sue for visitation and custody. Failure to pay child support is not enough grounds to terminate the parental relationship and he is trying to have a relationship with the child so there is not a strong case of abandonment. Since he is admittedly in therapy, the court would likely restrict his visitation to supervised visitation for the time being.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Michigan and Ohio, it depends. If he is safe to be around the child(ren), AND he can establish paternity, and the court rules in his favor, he could have liberal visitation privileges. Or the court may order supervised visitation. It depends upon the statutes and the court.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    Since he is not on the birth certificate, he would first have to file a complaint to establish paternity. He would have to undergo a DNA marker test for this (unless you consented to his paternity). If paternity is established (or consented to), he could then file a complaint for custody/visitation. As long as he can show that he isn't any danger to the child, he would most likely be awarded some type of visitation. However, if he does ever file a complaint for custody against you, then you should consider having a family law attorney represent your interests so that you obtain a favorable visitation schedule. Since you have been the primary caretaker up to this point, the visitation schedule needs to be on *your*terms, not his.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/26/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, the Court will always consider the best interests of the child when implementing a parenting plan/residential schedule.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/26/2011
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