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non married parental rights

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Just a not so simple question, Without going on too much, does anyone know anything concerning parental rights in a situation where a child was born to an unmarried couple. If the couple has been sharing 50/50 custody (both names on birth cert), does the mother have the right to just move away and take the child because they were never married?
I am the GF of the father, and we are freaked out. Can't talk to lawyer until tomorrow and looking for some input.
Thanks.
post #2 of 34
If there is no custody order, there is nothing illegal about a parent taking a child anywhere.

You need a lawyer to request an ex parte hearing which will make her come back ASAP with the child. If she does not show, then she will be breaking the law and a warrant will be issued.


At least that is how it works in CA. I think it's pretty universal, though.


Do you know the location of the mother/child? If you don't, I don't know really know what happens.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks.
There is not any kind of custody order. I think my BF, the father, truly felt like the mother and him would just be able to work together. The mother had intially left him and the child, and later came back. Since that point they have been doing the 50/50 split.
We are just getting ready for a custody battle, I guess.
Thanks again.
post #4 of 34
good luck!
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Much appreciated.
I went through a custody battle with my kids and their dad, and we have joint custody which works fine for us. However, in this situation there is not any dialogue between the mother and I due to her negative feelings towards me.
I think that she feels threatened by my relationship with her child.
I wish I could talk to her. I wish that we could have talked before everything escalated like this. I completely respect her role as mother, and I know through my own custody agreements that resolving things as peaceful as possible is in everyone's best interest.
Sorry to go on so, but it's really stressful, and I am really thankful for the well wishing.
post #6 of 34
In every state I'm aware of, once paternity is established, an unmarried father has the same rights as a marital father, with some caveats (i.e. custody may need to be formally established as well--however, in establishing custody, the judge isn't allowed to consider the marital status as a factor; it's treated the same way as divorce-related custody is).

Paternity may need to be established by DNA (in some states, signing the birth certificate isn't enough), but it shouldn't be too difficult. (The only problem I can see would be if the mother was married to someone else at the time of the conception/birth, who in many states would be the presumed father.)
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks that is comforting to know. We looked up some state laws, but we don't have any real knowledge about this situation. She has never been married, but her whole stance is that since there was never a ring on her finger she is simply being kind to let him see their child at all, and that basically the child is hers alone.
We believe this is all an emotional ploy. Maybe she got in a fight with her BF, maybe she wants the father back, maybe she wants to try to get child support...we really don't know why she has decided to try and move the child away.
I'm sorry. I'm got all ranty for a bit.
Thanks again though.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoolove View Post
Thanks that is comforting to know. We looked up some state laws, but we don't have any real knowledge about this situation. She has never been married, but her whole stance is that since there was never a ring on her finger she is simply being kind to let him see their child at all, and that basically the child is hers alone.
We believe this is all an emotional ploy. Maybe she got in a fight with her BF, maybe she wants the father back, maybe she wants to try to get child support...we really don't know why she has decided to try and move the child away.
I'm sorry. I'm got all ranty for a bit.
Thanks again though.
There does need to be a custody order in place and your BF should be paying child support, if he is the father the mother should not have to "try to get child support", it is the child's right and your BF's responsibility.

Until there is a custody order in most states where the couple is unmarried the mother by default has full custody. Typically though its not recognized unless there is an order, but she is not, at this point, doing anything illegal.
post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
I don't mean to be close minded, but I am not sure why he would need to pay her child support if there is a 50/50 split. The child is carried on the father's insurance, and the father pays all of the medical bills, daycare bills, and even bought a car for her so that she would have reliable transportation.
Yesterday she told us that she was moving and if we tried to go to court, we would lose and the judge would make us pay her a ton of child support.
That was why I wrote that maybe she is after the money. I don't think that he is in anyway shirking any level of responsibility, in fact when she handed him their newborn and walked out of their lives it was him who held it together.
Also, actually in our state, luckily, we have found out that the mother of an unmarried couple does not have full custody by default.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoolove View Post
I don't mean to be close minded, but I am not sure why he would need to pay her child support if there is a 50/50 split. The child is carried on the father's insurance, and the father pays all of the medical bills, daycare bills, and even bought a car for her so that she would have reliable transportation.
Yesterday she told us that she was moving and if we tried to go to court, we would lose and the judge would make us pay her a ton of child support.
That was why I wrote that maybe she is after the money. I don't think that he is in anyway shirking any level of responsibility, in fact when she handed him their newborn and walked out of their lives it was him who held it together.
Also, actually in our state, luckily, we have found out that the mother of an unmarried couple does not have full custody by default.
If he is helping support the child then he is paying support. Only a court can determine the amount he should be paying.

He needs to get an attorney immediately, they will force the mother to bring the child back. Plus since the mom is proving to be less than reliable he should file for custody so that his rights are established by the court and he never has to go through this again.
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry if I was a bit raw about the child support thing. I looked up some stats about divorced couples and what not and I was really bummed to see that in many splits, the mother carries the burden of raising the kids. In this situation, that is not the case.
She has backed down, but I absolutely agree that this is an excellent time to begin a parenting agreement.
Thanks for the input. And again, I'm sorry for coming off harsh, we have been a lil edgy since this happened last night.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoolove View Post
Just a not so simple question, Without going on too much, does anyone know anything concerning parental rights in a situation where a child was born to an unmarried couple. If the couple has been sharing 50/50 custody (both names on birth cert), does the mother have the right to just move away and take the child because they were never married?
I am the GF of the father, and we are freaked out. Can't talk to lawyer until tomorrow and looking for some input.
Thanks.
The father of the child needs to get a parenting agreement set up with the courts laying out custody and visitation and child support .
Any custody set up verbal or written down does not mean a thing unless it has gone through the courts and signed by a judge ..

If she moved the child out of state and the father tried to call the police they would say "sorry, you have no custody order set up with the courts there is nothing we can do , have a nice day !"

If the father is not going to get a parenting agreement set up , he needs to
document everything to show the courts that he has set visitation because unless he has proof it's his word against hers ...

Even if the father has verbal 50/50 that does not mean he does not have to pay child support .. Child support is based on income and financial obligation of both parents .. If your state has a support website I would strongly suggest the father fill out the form and get a calculation of what (if any) his support should be .. Be in mind that if he finds out that he does owe support he will be required to pay all back support ..

There are a few legal online websites that can give the father free advice on the steps he needs to take .. (keep in mind it's free advice)

Honestly it is NOT very smart to have nothing established through the courts if the mother is the jealous type ..
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
We spoke with a lawyer today. I really don't understand the child support laws, and I was taking the idea as an insinuation that the father had not been supporting the child all along. I am wondering if they are both employed and he already pays for all of the childs insurance, medical bills, daycare, clothing etc...why wouldn't she owe him any money on insurance or whatever? Honestly, since this has happened, she has said that she has no intention of seeking child support and he has has never felt that she owes him anything.
When I got divorced my ex and I were told that since we had 50/50 that we could both sek payments from each other, but we both thought that was sensless.
We are definitely getting a parenting agreement though.
And I am going to check out those web sites.
Thanks for the info!
post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
and I left this out...
but if we owe her child support, we would much rather know now while the child is still a toddler and start taking care of it then years from now and owe a ton of payments.
I don't want to sound like we won't pay, I was just confused by the rules.
Thanks again.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoolove View Post
Thanks!
We spoke with a lawyer today. I really don't understand the child support laws, and I was taking the idea as an insinuation that the father had not been supporting the child all along. I am wondering if they are both employed and he already pays for all of the childs insurance, medical bills, daycare, clothing etc...why wouldn't she owe him any money on insurance or whatever? Honestly, since this has happened, she has said that she has no intention of seeking child support and he has has never felt that she owes him anything.
When I got divorced my ex and I were told that since we had 50/50 that we could both sek payments from each other, but we both thought that was sensless.
We are definitely getting a parenting agreement though.
And I am going to check out those web sites.
Thanks for the info!
It depends on your state's laws, but in my state--if you have 50/50 placement, the parent making more ends up paying the parent making less, but significantly less than what they'd be paying in an EOW situation. That means your partner could end up paying CS if he makes more than his ex, or he could end up getting paid CS, if he made less. If the incomes are close, there usually won't be any CS at all (though the state will "hold open" the issue in case circumstances change). Also, things like health insurance, day care, etc., are usually considered separately from CS in WI, and paid by both parents in some fashion. There is a possibility your partner (if he was in WI) would end up paying, say, $200 in CS through the CS agency, but he'd end up getting a $400 reimbursement check for insurance right from the ex.

Glad you're going through the steps to formalize everything...even in the best of circumstances, it's good to have a legally enforceable plan in place.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by phoolove View Post
and I left this out...
but if we owe her child support, we would much rather know now while the child is still a toddler and start taking care of it then years from now and owe a ton of payments.
I don't want to sound like we won't pay, I was just confused by the rules.
Thanks again.
I have used the website www.freeadvice.com ,
Just an FYI When you go on the above website or any free law advice website
and use the term "we" when talking about your situation the lawyers and judges on the sites will crucify you !!!
I know it's hard but use the term "the child's father" .
If you say "we" they will have a fit and tell you , that you are not the mother and you have no legal rights yada yada yada !!!
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
It's a lot to take in.
At this point, she has softened, and we are perceiving this hint that this may be all just a bunch of emotional blackmail and insecurity and what not on the mother's part.
In any case, we are more than fine with paying child support, but that's not the real issue for us. We just want the agreement.
Thanks again.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yeah, you are right about the we thing. It's just that we (the father and I plus 4 kiddos between us) have been together long enough to feel like a "we."
But if this whole thing erupts in court, I understand that the father will have to physically stand alone.
Thanks for the input!
post #19 of 34
Thread Starter 
I also want to add that one lawyer that was spoken to suggested that the child's father go for full custody, and even used the phrase "tear her to pieces."
What?
That's crazy. No one wants that! We want her to keep parenting.
What a horrible attitude for a family lawyer.
post #20 of 34
Most lawyers will tell you to ask for more than what you actually want and then you can go from there ..

The lawyers attitude is kind of disturbing .
You do want a lawyer that knows what they are doing and is very proactive
We found a "family law specialist" great lawyer , looked sweet and innocent but kicked a** !!!
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