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Discussion Starter #1
There is a man who works for our company that has a child with his girlfriend (the child is about 3 or 4).<br><br>
I guess the relationship has taken a turn for the worse and the girlfriend took off to her mom's house. She told this man he can only see the child when she has a shift at work, which is every other weekend. Basically, whenever she needs a babysitter. She won't return his calls otherwise. Now the mom isn't going into work for a couple of weeks and she told him there is no chance of him seeing his child before that time.<br><br>
He is so upset over the situation he can barely work. It is very heartbreaking. He asked me today if I would find out if he has any rights. He has no idea what to do. He is just completely lost. He can't eat and can barely speak. I have never seen someone so totally broken. He LIVES for this child, so having him taken away is like how you or I would feel if our partner just took off with our 3 year old and said "maybe" we could see them again in a couple of weeks. He once brought the child to work when he was a toddler and you could just tell he was one of those dads that was totally lovestruck over his baby. Totally dotes on him, thinks he is the best thing that every happened since the world began--he really loves this child.<br><br>
He doesn't know much about legal issues and I think he genuinely believes he might never get to see the baby again. He came into my office today and asked if I knew whether he had any rights at all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I told him of course, he surely must have rights, but it will take time to assert them.<br><br>
What should he do first? I have never gone through a custody situation. I don't know who to tell him to contact.
 

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He needs to speak to a lawyer immediately. They can get the process started to get custody and visitation set up (and child support). He needs to keep trying to contact the mom (even showing up at the place she is staying and CALMLY requesting to see the child). He needs to record EVERYTHING. Just get a notebook and record every time he calls her, every time he requests to see the child, every time she denies that request, every time he calls to speak to the child and the mother refuses. Everything. A judge will most likely frown upon the mom taking the child and totally cutting off contact with the dad (unless there is drugs/abuse/etc involved, which it doesn't sound like there is in this case).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He doesn't have much money--are there any court appointed lawyers that deal with custody? Is it common for private family lawyers to give free consultations? If so I could help him contact a private lawyer asap so he can get some idea what to do next.
 

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Lots of cities have free legal services. Maybe try calling 211 or calling some family lawyers and see what they recommend for someone who is financially limited?
 

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He could file an ex-parte hearing for visitation. This is an emergency hearing that would occur within a few day period that would get him some visitation rights. Judges don't approve of any parent keeping a child away from the other parent unless there is good cause. This is under the provision that he is listed as the father and can prove he has been involved. If so he can file and be heard usually within 24 hours. He should say girlfriend moved out and is refusing to let him see the child. He should be able to get help through the courthouse in filling everything out.
 

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you can support him, but I would hope you make him do the work, it is his child, tell him to get to work doing what needs to be done.
 
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