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oneofus2016

Father getting custody of newborn

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Just wanted some insight on this; I currently have a lawyer but also wanted to see if anyone has gone through something similar.  I am an unwed father to a mother that is presumed to be having my child in December, I am sure that it is mine but of course the paternity test will be done the day of birth.  As it stands right now she agreed to my petition for injunction to be there when the child is born and to update me on the status and health of the baby.  Between the time the child is born until my custody hearing, a period of about a month and a half, I have been given unsupervised visits with the child for 4 hours a week, clearly not what I wanted but nothing I can do around that time.  She is much younger than me and doesn't want me to have anything to do with the child.  At the same time I am excited about this child, willing to pay everything I have to, already had a baby room completed and very cordial with communication.  Here is a little background on both of us.  I am a business owner, I have the financial means to support a child, I can stay at home all day and night with the child, my employment history is solid, no history of crime or violence, no debt, stable home, stable vehicle.  She currently has one child (this will be her second from a different father), she is in a lot of debt, she receives government assistance (WIC, medicare), she has joint custody of her current child and lives with a friend and that friends' child (rented mobile home), not a stable vehicle,  does not have paid maternity leave and will still work, jumpy employment history.  She doesn't have any immediate family and lived with her first boyfriends grandmother who helped raise the first child because she didnt have anywhere to go.  I have text messages etc that will be used in court with specific information relevant to my case as well.

 

Given all of this, I just wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar case like this.  Most of the ones that I find are fathers that do not want anything to do with the child or will not support the child.  I am just real nervous about this custody hearing because I do not want to settle for visitation only.  I live in Mississippi so they go off of the Albright analysis to determine the best interest of the child.  Does anyone have any tips, advice, examples etc that may help me out further in my case?

 

Thank you,

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1 hour ago, oneofus2016 said:

I am an unwed father to a mother that is presumed to be having my child

 

This says that you believe your daughter is having your child.  I will assume and really hope that's not what you meant.

 

 

1 hour ago, oneofus2016 said:

I am sure that it is mine but of course the paternity test will be done the day of birth.

 

Unless you were monitoring the mother's conduct 24/7 for a few weeks on either side of the estimated date of conception, you can't possibly know that she didn't have sex with other men.  Also, why do you think a paternity test will be done the day of birth?  Has the mother told you she will allow that?

 

 

1 hour ago, oneofus2016 said:

She currently has one child (this will be her second from a different father), she is in a lot of debt, she receives government assistance (WIC, medicare), she has joint custody of her current child and lives with a friend and that friends' child (rented mobile home), not a stable vehicle,  does not have paid maternity leave and will still work, jumpy employment history.  She doesn't have any immediate family and lived with her first boyfriends grandmother who helped raise the first child because she didnt have anywhere to go.

 

That you chose to have a child with such a person makes one question your decision making ability.

 

 

1 hour ago, oneofus2016 said:

Does anyone have any tips, advice, examples etc that may help me out further in my case?

 

Hire the best family law attorney you can afford.

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Hi @oneofus2016

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Of course you will want to discuss all of these issues/concerns with your attorney. That being said, there are a few things you may want to keep in mind. A newborn baby cannot be separated from his/her mother for more than a few hours, especially is the mother is breastfeeding. An infant initially bonds to a single caregiver. The older the child gets, the longer he/she can be away from mom/primary caretaker, and can bond with a secondary figure (such as a father). However, a 50/50 timeshare would not be an age-appropriate schedule for an newborn baby. That would cause the baby to experience stress and anxiety. That being said, you certainly can push for joint legal custody of the baby, so you have a say in medical (and eventually educational) decisions. At the beginning, you may have visitation in short blocks, but as the baby grows these visits could become expanded, eventually, to overnights. It is unlikely a court would live you sole physical custody when the baby is a newborn, unless you can demonstrate that the mother is an unfit parent (beyond mere flakiness, to the point where mother is a danger to the child).

 

Leading up to the baby's birth, you probably could help your case by being active in prenatal doctor's appointments (if your ex is comfortable with your presence). After the baby is born, you may also want attend his/her appointments and be involved in every way possible and appropriate. Also realize that you and your ex will be working together for the next 18 years to raise this child, so a focus on peaceful communication and co-parenting is always a plus.

 

Best of luck and keep us posted!

The FindLaw.com Team

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59 minutes ago, FindLaw_RE said:

A newborn baby cannot be separated from his/her mother for more than a few hours

 

This is unquestionably not true (obviously, if the mother is breastfeeding, it's true, but breastfeeding is not the only way to feed an infant).

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2 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

 

This is unquestionably not true (obviously, if the mother is breastfeeding, it's true, but breastfeeding is not the only way to feed an infant).

 

Perhaps the baby can, but barring circumstances where a mother is unfit , family court judges will not often put in place a timeshare which separates a mother and newborn baby for long periods of time. To give a father 50/50 when a baby is breastfeeding would be age-inappropriate.

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1 minute ago, FindLaw_RE said:

family court judges will not often put in place a timeshare which separates a mother and newborn baby for long periods of time.

 

That's completely different, and I don't disagree.  Unfortunately, this is a result of the fallacious thinking behind the statement with which I disagreed.

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Just now, pg1067 said:

 

That's completely different, and I don't disagree.  Unfortunately, this is a result of the fallacious thinking behind the statement with which I disagreed.

 

Glad to clarify then. Clearly a baby could be separated from his/her mother, but that doesn't mean it's the best thing for him/her.

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It is very unlikely that you will get full custody absent the mother agreeing to it. Having other children, low paying jobs, little family support and being poor are not reasons to alter custody. It does mean that you can expect to pay a substantial amount in child support for the baby. Limited visitation while the baby is young is normal and not a reflection of your fitness as a parent. If you want to be able to see the child whenever you want, be married to the mother (assuming mother is willing).

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