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Paternal Rights for Unmarried Couples... ??
May 8, 2007
6:46 pm
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Is anyone familiar with paternal rights for unmarried couples...do they exist if not legally married?

May 9, 2007
8:49 am
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risingfromtheashes
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what exactly do you mean?

If the unmarried couple has a child, biological rights apply.

But if you mean, would you have rights to your partner's children just because you live together, I would have to say no.

Most "step parents" don't have too many rights...I am sure there are provisions if you have been sole provider for a long period of time...but it's hard. And if you aren't married...there may not be much.

I know that if I want my partner to be allowed to make "parental" decisions for my child, I have to provide permission of some form...at school, there is a form that gives permission, for the doctors, I have to have a notorized document on file to give permission for them to consent to treatment.

If I haven't answered your question, I apologize...maybe the specifics of thee situation may help.

May 9, 2007
9:36 am
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I've been wondering about some of these "rights" also.

Can an unmarried father have a paternity test done without the mother's knowledge? I know you can get a KIT for about $100, but it is unofficial. (Just requesting this could generate a lot of hurt.)

May 9, 2007
9:50 am
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risingfromtheashes
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I think anyone can swab a kid's mouth and send it in, or take a hair sample from a hair brush.

I do NOT think an unmarried father can take a child to a DOCTOR for a paternity test UNLESS the father in question has permission to get medical treatment for the child.

I think the only time a court order is needed is when the parent doesn't want to submit his/her OWN DNA sample for testing.

I think that whenever there is a question of paternity, hurt is going to happen.

My cousin got married and shortly after his wife cheated on him...now she is pregnant.

When asked if he was going to get a paternity test..he saaid no...they reconciled, she stopped seeing the other guy...and they are trying to work it out...and that he will raise the child as his own.

However...if she cheated again, perhaps he would THEN consider a paternity test?

I know some states consider you a parent if you took the child as your own, even if paternity is not established...so you could end up with child support for a child that is not yours, simply because you accepted the child as your own, even without official adoption.

I am sure laws vary state to state.

May 9, 2007
2:04 pm
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Hi rising,

This is the situation. A friend of my family had sex with a boy that she dated twice, became pregnant, and has decided since then that she cannot stand him. She is 23 yrs old, does not want to have an abortion, so I am wondering what legal recourse she has if any. I looked up Conception Law on the internet, but other than the normal, it really doesn't say anything. This boy valliantly wants to be around for the rest of the child's life, which is honorable, but her concern is if she marries someone else, he will always be around. I don't know, so thought i would toss it around here on aac.

May 9, 2007
2:56 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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well...I think that all biological parents have a RIGHT to their child.

no matter what the other parent wants.

short of her proving that he is unfit and unable to care for the child...but even then, the court could mandate supervised visitation.

He is going to be REQUIRED to pay child support...by law...and with that comes the right to visitation.

We should all think about this kind of situation BEFORE having unprotected sex.

Unfortunately, these are the consequences.

Here's another thing the law doesn't really cover...what if she WANTED the abortion, but he didn't? What if he wanted the kid, but she didn't?

The law is vague.

BUT, the law is NOT vague about biological parents right to visitation.

she is going to have to fight pretty hard and have a pretty good reason why he can't see his child...and it has to be more than a clash in personalities.

Also understand that if she meets a new guy...this guy will HAVE to understand that she has a child from a previous relationship and that the child and the child's father are part of the package. This isn't all that uncommong, given the divorce rate.

Also, she should be careful about trying to block HIS efforts to be a dad...cuz he could come back full force and try to get custody himself.

The child is bound to be caught in a bitter custody thing...pawn in a game that is going to hurt the child.

The mother's best choice is to put all feelings aside and try to make sure to raise the child as peacefully as possible and always keep the child's best interest in mind.

I give him credit...most father's run...that child is lucky...even if the mother doesn't think so.

Again, my comments are based on the premise that the only reason for blocking his involvement is purely personal...and not because he is involved in illegal stuff, or would be abusive...if that was the case, then I would say she should fight to ban visitation.

they say if you play you pay...and the sad part is, it's the child who will ultimately pay more than anyone else.

May 9, 2007
2:59 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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you can also look up family law regarding child support, visitation and parental rights.

it's not the married part that is the issue...it's that the child is biologically his.

May 9, 2007
3:18 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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I did a quick google search on non-custodial parental rights.

and it appears that IF your young friend tries to block his participation, the courts CAN step in and award HIM custody.

I saw a few cases in Maryland where the courts gave dad custody because mom made it difficult to visit with the children, as well as talked badly of the father and made it difficult for him to have a healthy relationship with the kids.

So, it's best to be careful...and put feelings aside if there is no other abuse concerns or such.

May 9, 2007
11:37 pm
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HI,
****PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT A LAWYER OF ANY TYPE, I AM, MERELY SPEAKING FROM LIFE EXPERIENCE AND DO NOT WANT TO BE ACCUSED OF HANDING OUT FAULTY LEGAL ADVICE.****I am in the exact situation as the woman you were speaking of. I have been through a lot. My child is now 3. It is very hard to deal with a dead beat dad who just won't go away. You hear about women who complain because the father of their child/children doesn't want anything to do with them. This has been my prayer since conception.I would love nothing more than just to be able to raise my child in peace. The father of my baby is mentally manipulative and abusive. The only reason i was ever with him was because i was a teenager, severly depressed and suffered from an eating disorder. I just wanted someone to care. I got pregnant before i really knew him and my life and mine child's has been hell ever since. I wish that i could tell you that legally there was something you could do to prevent the loser dad who is obsessed and won't go away, but there isn't. there are ways, however you may be able to side step it. I have spent a lot of time with my nose in the laws books. I know everything there is to know about family law considering this issue for the state in which i live. First of all, you need to read, intepret and fully understand the laws regarding "children born out of wedlock", which will be found in your states code book (law book). Second, if the girl hasn't given birth yet, tell her to put the father on the birth certificate, sign a paternity affidavit, or give the child the father's name. I know in my state that was a mistake. Where i live, a child born out of wedlock is by default in the mother's custody. I'm assuming that it may be that way in most places. By me giving my child the father's name and putting him on the birth certificate, I made it very easy for him to take me to court. Which is what he did. The jerk doesn't pay support,wants the baby half of the week and doesn't help discipline.

May 10, 2007
10:00 am
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marriage status is largely incidental. If you father a child, it's almost a dead certainty that you will share the financial costs thereof. I'm sure in some instances that there are exceptions, but courts mete out justice according to 'what's best for the child?"

additionally, I believe that under the Bradley act/amendment people who don't pay child support can be imprisoned and forced to pay restitution regardless of the circumstances. Unemployment, severe injury, prisoner of war...no matter..only death can exempt someone from child support under this act. try wikipedia...search for bradley amendment

May 14, 2007
8:03 am
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How should a father account for having paid his child support? If he helps her pay her rent, for example, does he need to make sure it is applied to the support requirement?

May 14, 2007
8:18 am
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risingfromtheashes
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this is where it gets tricky.

if he pays for anything other than the court ordered child support, the court sees it as a "gift" and does NOT take it into consideration most times.

the ONLY way his financial contributions matter is when it's paid thru the court system, as prescribed in his child support order.

so many dad's make the mistake of giving "extra" money, thinking it applies as a sort of child support payment and finding out it doesn't.

Nope, any money given to her directly usually has no bearing on his child support order.

May 14, 2007
2:37 pm
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THANK YOU for all of the information and advice everyone. rising, I think you are right, it is what it is, and what is done is done. Legally, he is to be a participant. Sometimes there is a way around or a loophole in the state statutes, but I think it is what it is.

this too shall pass...thank you for sharing your experience. I hope it gets better for you soon. 🙂

May 14, 2007
3:08 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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depending on your state...if he is not present for the birth, and to sign for paternity on the birth certificate, his name may not be listed.

THEN, if he wants visitation, he has to petition the court for the right and then get paternity test done, then get a court order for child support, then get visitation.

I lived in south carolina...my baby's dad was not present...so he did not go on birth certificate...so paternity was not established.

many states operate this way.

and it may not prevent him from participating...but will make it difficult.

I think overall, it is in the BABY'S best interest...to have him involved...put all feelings aside.

unless of course he was abusive or had addiction or something.

as far as him paying her for expenses outside of court order child support...he can do whatever he wants...but if he tries to avoid child support by saying he pays for other stuff, he's going to get a rude awakening...cuz they don't play that game.

Cuz then it comes down to "he said she said"...did he pay it or didn't he....and many will say he didn't...when he did...or he'll say he paid when he didn't.

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