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Do I *need* sole legal custody?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ex and I have joint legal custody, and I have sole physical custody right now.  He pays support on time every month, but refuses to call and talk to DD and hasn't spoken to either of us in over a year.  Eventually my DF would like to adopt DD, but it's not possible right now.  Should I take the next step and get sole legal custody, or just go with the status quo right now?

post #2 of 9

If you think he'd swoop in at some point and exercise his legal rights about things like school and medical decisions (which I still think you have the final say in, being the custodial parent), then, yea. Otherwise, I'd just wait it out until you can claim abandonment and have your husband adopt her.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I really don't think he would ever try to interfere in my parenting decisions, considering he has no opinions and doesn't even know what DD is doing, or that she's even in preschool.  We can't claim abandonment though, since he's paying support.  It stinks.  I was thinking of trying to go for legal since I don't have a good address for him (neither does the friend of the court) and it would show that he's not even interested in fighting for her at all.  Sort of to set a precedent.  I don't know what to do about the support issue though.
 

post #4 of 9

Have you looked into the issue of step-parent adoption in your state to see what the precedent is?? Or at least have a consult with a lawyer who specializes in that, so you know how it's commonly done in your state when the non-custodial parent is making support payments through payroll with-holdings. Then you could have a plan of what steps you'll need to take and it will free your mind up for other things =)

post #5 of 9

I was wondering this same thing. My Ex left when I was 5 months pregnant and he sends money every month. But I am cautious about him being a "real" parent and demanding things all of a sudden when our son is like, 3! Our son isn't born yet, so maybe this could all be solved by just not putting him on the birth certificate? Does that get him out of CS?

post #6 of 9

I wonder the same thing about my situation. We were never married so we never filed for custody when he moved out. He is ordered to pay child-support but doesn't. But he does have our son one night a week (not consistently, but I'll say he tries, at least). My concern is if I ever wanted to move, I don't have anything stating that I have custody now, although I'm sure just having the Child Support order out there is precedent enough.

 

In our case, I also don't feel like the Ex would ever try to dispute me, even if I wanted to move. He likes to threaten, but he doesn't have any standing (has no job/house - lives with his parents) so I don't think a court would give him much, nor does he have $$ for a lawyer. But it's always something in the back of my mind that maybe I just need it set in stone.

 

I'd talk to a lawyer, just to get their opinions about your state and what your options are. That's what I'm considering. You can always consult without taking action, you know? And you might find someone willing to do a pro-bono consult?

post #7 of 9

I wouldn't bother with the sole legal custody.  Unless you are planning on going on vacation outside of the U.S. (assuming you are from U.S., if not same probably applies in a different country) and need your ex to sign off on you getting a passport, you don't need it.  Besides, joint legal (depending on your state, in NJ it is this way) means that he gets to give his input on changes in school, religion and MAJOR, non-emrgency medical decisions.  Typically, the courts will side with the CP if there is a conflict (this is not a guarantee). 

 

As for your dh adopting your child, well, since your ex is actually paying his child support, your dh may not be able to unless your ex agrees to it.  A court just may view your ex paying child support as being involved with his child.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnyaRose View Post

I was wondering this same thing. My Ex left when I was 5 months pregnant and he sends money every month. But I am cautious about him being a "real" parent and demanding things all of a sudden when our son is like, 3! Our son isn't born yet, so maybe this could all be solved by just not putting him on the birth certificate? Does that get him out of CS?

I am assuming that you aren't married.  It doesn't matter if you put him on the b.c. or not.  If he wants parenting time, he can file a motion to get paternity established, his name on the b.c. and for the child to have his last name over yours and parenting time.  And he would likely win it.  Also, in concerns to child support, paternity would still have to be  established with the courts before  this would be ordered. 

post #9 of 9

If you want child support, you will have to eventually have him on the birth certificate.  Once you file, either he can sign the paperwork to be added or he can ask for a paternity test and then be added that way.  Even if you do not put him on the b.c., he can at any time file for custody and go through the process to be added. 

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