unmarried father rights child support and custody

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Latest post 05-06-2011 8:04 PM by LynnM. 11 replies.
  • 05-05-2011 1:35 PM

    • zanalder
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    unmarried father rights child support and custody

    This may be long... I dated the mother of my son for a year and a half, we broke up and three days later she calls to tell me she is pregnant. I say lets try and work it out she doesnt want to. She lives in Vegas with me and her family lives in UT (6 hours away) She wants to take the baby with her back to UT to be near her family because she has none in Las Vegas. We make a verbal agreement (I know, STUPID) She can take the baby back and I dont pay child support as long as I keep him on my insurance and I pay transportation to see him. I have him for 3-5 weeks then she has him for 5-6 weeks and that is how it has been since he was about 18 months. For three years that is exactly what happens plus I give her cash and buy boxes and boxes of diapers, wipes, formula and clothes evertime I see him. I have never gone more than 3 months without seeing him! A couple of months ago she asks if I can help with day care. I say yes and we have another agreement. Not even 2 weeks later she tells me she filed for child support!! Now she is taking me to court to keep my son from me. I am married and my wife and I have 4 other kids (hers and mine and ours). My son is very attatched to all of his siblings and my wife. I guess my question is, do I have any legal rights or will I lose in court? Will I have to pay a lot of child support even though I pay all transportation, insurance and I have him nearly half of the time? I am super worried that I wont get to have him as much as I do now! I am planning on getting a lawyer but any other advice?

  • 05-05-2011 1:43 PM In reply to

    • DPH
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    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    zanalder:
    three days later she calls to tell me she is pregnant.

    Has paternity been proven?  If not, why not?  If so, the mother has the absolute right to file for CS and custody.  You have the absolute right to make sure that the child is yours.  If the child is yours and the mother is granted custody, you will likely have to pay CS, but you will also be eligible for visistation.  You could also file for custody, but that's another story.

    Get an attorney to assist you asap.

     

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."  -  Mark Twain

     

  • 05-05-2011 1:56 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    What do you mean by "losing".  Your current custody arrangement of exchanging every few weeks would need to change anyway when he goes to school.  You will be entitled to visitation.  She is entitled to child support.

  • 05-05-2011 2:12 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    you are right that is not very smart. You need an attorney because now.her state has jurisdiction and she has the right to file for support. You can ask for credit for travel expenses or make mom meet you half way for visits. You can also ask to claim child on taxes. You can certainly ask for as much visitation as possible.

  • 05-05-2011 3:44 PM In reply to

    • CJ
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    • Joined on 08-02-1999
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    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    Because you were never married and paternaty was never establisted nor is there any type of legal custody/visitation order ... she holds ALL RIGHTS. She could actually pick up and move without your concent. 

    Act ASAP and file for a DNA test and Custody. Her just telling you she filed for Child Support doesn't mean she actually did it. But you need to beat her to the punch and do it before she finds out that she can go without your say so.

    Yes you will have to pay support and that amount will be based on a percentage of both hers and your incomes and will be offset by the set visitation. If the courts allow her to relocate your visitation will absolutly change.  The kiddo will be in school soon and so you'll see him less. 

    Move quickly with your lawyer.  I'm wondering if she applied for some kind of state assistance which is why she had to file for support.  It's actually a requirement.  If so, then they should facilitate the DNA test.

  • 05-05-2011 4:00 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    You have the right to relationship with your child. She cannot prevent it.

    You also have an obligation to support your child financially. You can't prevent that.

  • 05-05-2011 8:48 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    zanalder:
    I guess my question is, do I have any legal rights or will I lose in court?

    I'm wondering what you mean by "lose in court"?  By your account, everything you are currently doing is pretty close to the same as if a court had ordered it.

    As other's have said, you have the right to a relationship with your child, and an obligation to support.

    IMO, the mother seeking court orders on these issues' is a prudent measure for your child.  I don't see why your so worried, there might be some more structured guidelines' set by the court.

    I'm sure you will easily adjust, because you have been supportive, and have a relationship with the child.  Look at it this way, now it's going to be "official".

    Each state has it's own guidelines' and statutes regarding CS.  It might even work to your advantage that she filed in her new state. 

    The court will use the State's Child Support Guidelines' to determine your share of Child Support. 

    Ok  I'm not a lawyer.  This is only my opinion /suggestion.  Most Replys' are based on information provided by the "original post" (OP).

  • 05-06-2011 12:23 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    zanalder:
    . We make a verbal agreement (I know, STUPID)

     

    Doesn't matter: a verbal agreement allowing you NOT to pay child support wouldn't hold up in court, anyway.  A court must do what is in the best interests of the child, not a parent's pocketbook.  Every child deserves to be fully supported by both parents.

     

  • 05-06-2011 1:43 PM In reply to

    • zanalder
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    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    I just want everyone to understand I am not trying to get out of paying child support or taking care of my child financially. I do take care of him financially. I have him for a month every other month and I do not ask for child support from her. What I was asking is, In court will the amount of time I have him and the fact that I pay nearly $500 for transportation everytime I get him be taken into consideration when the child support amount is set? I also wanted to know if the amount of time that I have him now (before he starts school) will stay the same because that is what he is used to, or will the judge change it because it is not a common time share schedule?

  • 05-06-2011 2:02 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    No one can answer that question. It does seem unreasonable for a child to have to move from state to state every other month.

  • 05-06-2011 3:55 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    if paternity was established when the child was born then you might have to pay retroactive child support, since you have no proof of payments.

    Absent of court order you dont need to pay but if taken to CS Enforcement and paternity was already established, rarely but possible you will get retroactive CS. As per visitation and other rights, you need to file in court and at this point I dont think you have jurisdiction over the case.

    This is my opinion

  • 05-06-2011 8:04 PM In reply to

    Re: unmarried father rights child support and custody

    Retroactive support generally only goes back to the time the parent files for support, not to birth or determination of paternity.

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