Will I have custody of my newborn by default until a decision is made in court? 1 Answers as of July 07, 2011

I am 6 months pregnant and am going to be filing for a divorce in California. Since I don't believe custody will be decided until after the birth, will I have custody of my newborn by default until a decision is made in court? Should I have trouble getting full custody while the baby is a breast-feeding newborn if the father tries to contest it?

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Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You can always tell who the mother is - the person who gave birth to the child. Unmarried mothers of newbornshave de facto custody of their children. When you say: "I don't believe custody will be decided until after birth", I don't know if you mean that the alleged father may not be the biological father, or if you mean that the Court will not determine custody until after birth. In any event, the alleged father will need to file a Paternity case to seek custodial/visitation rights. If he signs a Declaration of Paternity, or if you name him as the father on the birth certificate, he will have greater parental rights than he would otherwise have. It depends on the particular judicial officer, the requests of the parties,and the quality of the testimony of both parties as to what custodial/visitation rights the judicial officer will award. Judges have ordered mothers to use a breast pump and provide that milk in bottles to the fathers to feed the infants.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/7/2011
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