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Need some Help!! Pennsylvania

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  • Need some Help!! Pennsylvania

    I need to know more about my child custody laws. I have a 5 year old daughter that her father has never been in her life at all. She doesn't even know him. When I first got pregnant he wanted me to have an abortion and he also threatened to kill the baby and I. When the baby came I spoke with his mother to let them know that she was born. He never cared from day one that he was going to be a dad. He never wanted to step up to the plate. Now after 5 years he has been contacting me saying he has changed and he wants to be in her life. When I mention court to him he doesn't seem to want to do that. I live with my parents and they have been helping me out since day one. They are all yelling at me not to speak to him again. Just to put him on ignore on the computer, because he can use it against me in court and he could win custody of our child. As far as he tells me he is in school and he lives with his boss. He also pays child support on another child of his, but he doesn't have custody of that child. My biggest concern if he would now persue going after me for custody, would he have the right to take over full custody and take her away from me?

  • #2
    are you an unfit mother? do you beat your child? do you do drugs? are u an alcoholic who does nothing but drink? is there any reason a court would consider you an unfit mother? most likely, you answered no. Then, he can't take full custody of your child. If he wants to see her bad enough and be part of her life and step up to the plate, he will file papers with the court to establish his paternity, set up visitation (supervised at first so that they can get to know one another), and begin paying child support. Until then, don't worry about it. Once he truly shows he cares -and being willing to cough up money for an atty to see a child you never cared about before and knowing that you will have to pay child support when you do it would be showing you cared- then think about maybe trying to work out some kind of agreement to supervised visitation maybe an hour or so a week where you meet at a playground or something and see if he really is willing

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    • #3
      First: Breathe! When bio-dad makes a surprise reappearance, it is totally normal for you to go into super-upset how the hell do I protect my child can he take her from me mode. But relax. The process does not work that way.

      Now, your parents are wrong. Your daughter's father cannot just "take her from you," and certainly not because you are communicating with her father over e-mail.

      Originally posted by Mom2001 View Post
      My biggest concern if he would now persue going after me for custody, would he have the right to take over full custody and take her away from me?
      Unless he can prove that you are an unfit mother, the answer is no. And by unfit I mean your daughter is walking barefoot over your broken crack viles in an effort to get to the fridge where there is no food. You are providing her with a safe, loving home with plenty to eat and all of her needs are being met. You will retain custody.

      Currently, you have sole custody of your daughter. In order for him to have any rights to her, he needs to petition for a determination of parentage. Then, the court will order a paternity test (or he can sign a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity if you agree to it). Once he is determined to be the father, he will have to petition for visitation. You will also want to petition for child support (visitation and child support are two different issues and are dealt with seperately).

      Once paternity is established, he will get visitation, probably supervised at first, leading up to every other weekend and alternate holidays. Once you file for support, he will be ordered to pay you 17-20% of his paycheck, and will probably owe backsupport.

      Basically, once he files, you cannot stop him from having a relationship with your daughter. That said, he won't be able to just come in and take over. He will have to slowly develop a relationship with her, and the hope is that over time, he can be a good dad.

      Until he files, you are free to do whatever you want. You do not need to let him see your daughter, etc. It sounds like you are agreeable to him being a part of her life. That's great, but he needs to file through the court. The best way to protect your daughter's best interests are to make sure this is taken care of properly and LEGALLY.

      Originally posted by Mom2001 View Post
      When I mention court to him he doesn't seem to want to do that.
      Tell him this is not an option. If he wants to be a part of the child's life, he needs to follow all the rules and do it by the book.

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