I live in Washington State. I am a current student to be a Paralegal. I have a 2 year old boy and I just recently stopped seeing my baby's father we are not married however, he is a drug addict with his current girlfriend and he tells people I don't allow him to see his son which is not true. I didn't let him see his son once and that was it he doesn't come around or call at all and he is always in town from what I have been hearing. I would like to know if I would be able to get full custody of my son so I don't have to be scared to be in town with him and my baby's dad find us and take him and not bring him back. I have a bad feeling that if I let my son go with his father that I would never see my son again there's alot of talk and speculation of things about my baby's dad. I do not trust him or his girlfriend being a former drug user with my baby's dad I know he operates on the drug. I am unaware of my baby's dad residence. Please help me. Is there a way I can get custody of my son?
Custody with drug addict
Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:50 AM
I presume that by "full custody" you mean sole custody. If you are studying to be a paralegal, you need to learn and use the correct terminology.
When a child is born out of wedlock, the mother is presumed to have sole legal and physical custody until there's a court order that says otherwise. Has the father proven up his paternity in court and otained a formal, enforceable custody and support order ("parenting plan") that specifies his and your respective rights and obligations? His name on the birth certificate is not by itself sufficient to give him any enforceable parental rights. Until he does, you get to call all the shots regarding visitation.
That said, I strongly urgbe you to take the initiative if he has not, and get a parenting plan in place. It's in your own est intersts as well as your child's. A local family law attorney can help you out. Good luck!
Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:37 AM
Thanks but I already new the correct terminology I was in a hurry when I posted didn't think I needed to correct myself.
He is on the birth certificate he did not establish paternity from what I was told by some people here that if he is on the birth certificate that he does have parental rights. At the time this situation started I didn't have any safe place to be at all. I don't trust him or his girlfriend considering some of the stuff that they have been involved in around my city. I have talked to the sheriffs and they told me to get a protection order but I can't get the protection order without a threat for mine or my son's safety. So thanks for the advice hopefully I will find a way to make that happen.
Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:02 PM
My reply is strictly based on my son's experience having not been married to the mother of his children, the mother is assumed to be the custodial parent. As far as the visitation goes, have you contacted your local juvenile court with your concerns? Sometimes they can assign a mediator to hear your case and help set up visitation, I recommend supervised visitation if you believe he is using. In Tennessee, the courts would ask him to submit to a drug screen the day you go for mediation. Visitation is for the parent, not the current girlfriend to see the child. Maybe supervised visitation with a trusted family member on the father's side could be an option as having to take a child to a court building is not an ideal place for them to spend time together.
If you have concerns that he will try to harm you if you withhold visitation, you can always file an order of protection. The judge will give it to you without much evidence having to be presented and you can include the minor child in the order until you set up supervised visitation.
Its important for your child to have both parents in its life if at all possible but never go against your gut feelings. Good luck!
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