Will I have full custody if I do not put the father’s name on the birth certificate? 22 Answers as of September 20, 2012

I have recently broken up with the father of my child. I am two months pregnant, but do not want to put his name on the birth certificate. I want as little to do with him as possible at this point, and do not want to allow him custody. He has one other child, which his own mother has custody of, has not been able to hold a job for longer than a month, and has lived on the streets off and on for five years. If he files for custody, what are the odds that he will win in your own opinion?

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Victor Varga | Victor Varga
No, only the court can award you full custody.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 9/20/2012
The Barrister Firm
The Barrister Firm | Christopher Benjamin
Any child born out-of-wedlock, the law presumes that the natural mother is the custodian of that child. The father most petition the Family Court to obtain his rights as the father. The Court will determine (in the best interest of the child) whether there should be shared parental responsibility (meaning you most discuss and make decisions involving the child together) or sole parental responsibility (meaning that one parent alone gets to make decisions). The Court will also make a decision as to a time-sharing schedule (typically includes overnight stays). The parties will also be sent to mediation for an opportunity to make these decisions on their own - this is the best way to resolve your issues; otherwise, the Court decides all conflicts that remain. If you are seeking any restriction to what is generally considered unfettered rights, then it will be your burden to prove why the father should be restricted in time-sharing (i.e. no overnights or supervised visitation) or parental responsibility (i.e. sole parental responsibility).
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/16/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
That has nothing to do with who gets custody and visitation. The only issue is the best interest of the child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2012
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
most likely you will win custody He will get visitation
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/16/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
You will not be safe if you do not file a paternity lawsuit to get a custody order, otherwise each parent has an equal right to the child
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 9/16/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    No. There is no full custody in Florida when the natural parents are alive. You do not have a child yet. His chances of having greater time-sharing are good.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    The fact that the father's name is not on the birth certificate will not affect his rights to custody. The Judge will require paternity testing if necessary and then make a decision on the issue of legal and primary custody if the parties cannot decide for themselves the issues of custody and visitation. In Nevada, there is a presumption in favor of joint legal custody. If you are awarded primary physical custody, but the father is not a danger to the children and wants to maintain a relationship with his children, at the very least, a Judge will allow the father to have regular rights to visitation. As a result, if the father wants to maintain a relationship with his children, the Courts will allow him to do so because that is deemed to be in the best interests of the children, even if it is not in your best interests.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    First, does he even know you're pregnant? If not, don't tell him. If you stop having any contact with him, don't give him a forwarding address and never ask for any assistance from the state (welfare, food stamps, medical) he would have to file something with the court, prove that he's the father, be required to pay child support and then the issues with his other child and his other issues would all determine how much he would get to see the child. If you need government assistance, you must name the father and the state will go after child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Rebecca Rainwater
    Rebecca Rainwater | Rebecca Rainwater
    The courts use a best interest of the child standard when determining custody. The presumption is for joint custody but you can rebut that presumption by showing the court why it would not be in the best interest of a newborn to be in the care and custody of its father due to the reasons you state. You should file for custody and have the court determine paternity, establish orders for custody, visitation and support. The court will make the orders that will serve the child. It is not in the best interest of a child to be ordered to live with a person who cannot adequate take care and provide a safe place to live.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    After a child is born, if the parents are unmarried, the mother becomes the presumptive custodial parent unless or until a court determines otherwise as part of a custody or paternity proceeding. Custody is determined based on a best interests of the child standard. This considers any relevant facts related to the child and would not depend alone on whether a parent was employed. Much more would have to be known about the facts of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    If he wants to have a relationship with this child, and there are not sufficient reasons to keep him from the child, then he will get the opportunity to parent this child.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No opinion on the outcome is possible without much, much more information about your case; you need to consult a lawyer who can discuss that information at length. Simply stated, if the father wants to be involved and paternity is proven, you cannot prevent his name being placed on the birth certificate. And, it is important to remember that being listed on the birth certificate does not have any significant meaning with respect to the existence or nonexistence of rights.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    I don't know your situation to advise you regarding custody. But putting a person's name on a birth certificate does not determine custody. Talk to a lawyer in person.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Whether you put the father's name on the birth certificate or not does not change the fact that the father is the father. If you will ever want or need support for the child, it might make your life easier if the father were listed right from the beginning. More importantly, public policy in the State of New Jersey is that children desire and are entitled to the love and affection of both parents. Therefore, the father will always be able to petition the court for "joint legal custody", and barring some good reason to the contrary, father will receive joint legal custody. You will remain the parent of primary residence.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Whether he is on the birth certificate or not does not affect his rights to custody.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    "Custody" doesn't mean much in Washington. If he files to establish a parenting plan, the court will order what is in the child's best interest. Until then, you have "custody."
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    Swann-Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Swann
    Putting the father's name on the birth certificate does not give him any rights in Alabama. Fathers who are not married to the mother at the time of birth must have a DNA test and be adjudicated to be the legal father. Just because you put his name on the birth certificate does not legally make him the father. In this case until he is adjudicated the legal father, there will be no reason to worry about custody. He will have to file a paternity action with family court to have a DNA test and hearing to be given any rights.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    I expect the HE jas to sign to be put on the birth certificate. After the chuld us born, file for custody and since it is a baby, supervised visits until the child is older. You should also file for child support. Obviously, you were not worried about his job status when you had the child with him. You will certainly get the custody, but it would be better for the chIld to know who his father is.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Whose name is on the certificate does not establish paternity. Paternity is established either by both parents signing an affidavit of parentage or a paternity action filed in court.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Under the circumstances you describe, it is doubtful he would receive any significant parenting time. As the father he does have enforceable parental rights, and if he seeks them it will make little difference whether or not he is on the birth certificate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Unless and until the child is legitimated at birth by signing voluntary legitimation forms, or the father files a legitimation action in court after that, he has no rights to the child. As far as what rights he may have to visitation if he does file for visitation, that would depend on the circumstances at the time and you would need to consult with an attorney about your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    I never give odds, he probably won't get custody, but if you are on assistance the state will file a paternity action for child support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
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