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mamaof1

visitation case

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Hi, so I would like to get some insight on what to expect a judge would determine and what I can do in my possible rights. Last year I got pregnant and had initially mistaken the identity of the biological father. The biological father knew I was pregnant and we were together at that time and he knew there was a possibility it may have been his. Later the biological dad left me. I ended up realizing the original guy was not possibly the father and so me and my new boyfriend spend the pregnancy together and he told me he thought it was his. So he ended up signing the paperwork and giving his last name. When the baby was 1 month old, I realized the bio dad could be the father and I wanted to be sure. So I contacted him and broke up with my boyfriend because of it. Now my son has my last name, and the other guy is no longer legally related to him. 
Me and the bio dad tried to work things out. We took an at home DNA test and I would let him come see our son on my expense. I encouraged him to sign the Acknowledgement of Paternity to have a legal relationship and he has not done so. After 2 months of him not doing anything other than visiting me and holding the baby, I set the ground rule that he needs to establish paternity if he wants to visit. He still has not but is working on a court case about me denying him visitation. In the meantime I have applied for child support and we have a hearing in 2 weeks. I am super afraid of the results of this because the biological dad is 23 and does not have a job, he is a daca immigrant, he lives with his mom and siblings in an unfinished home (no proper doors and a trashed living room) he also does not have a crib, a car seat, a car, or anything he would need to have the baby. He is constantly talking about me having psychological issues to his family and I would hate for him to be that way to the child. I feel like him having my son is not in the best interest because of the lack of income, privacy, lack of baby necessities, and his reluctancy to even sign the Acknowledgment but instead getting a lawyer on me. , the baby is also unfamiliar with him since he hasn't seen him often.     
I am currently a nursing student, and am since recent times unemployed but have a history of keeping a job. I live in a spaciously divided high end home with only my parents and have everything the baby needs and wants provided myself.  

Would a court allow him to have unsupervised and regular visitation? Even overnight? Is it my responsibility to then provide him with necessities like a car seat or anything? Would he even have right to joint custody? Can I get supervised visitation only for now? What can I expect with this situation? 

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The court will not allow him to have anything at all, unless he can first establish his paternity to the court's satisfaction.  Simply signing an acknowledgement of paternity at this point is likely not sufficient.  In fact, how do you know yourself he's the biological father?  You have already made one mistake in identifying the father, so there must be some doubt.  Even if he's willing to sign the AOP, you should ask the court for a DNA test to be absolutely sure.  The court may or may not accept the home DNA test you already took.

 

Assuming his paternity is established, the extent to which he's awarded visitation depends on a number of facts.  Since you became pregnant only last year, the child must be less than a year old, perhaps much less.  Is your son breastfeeding?  In any case, the court will likely be reluctant to allow overnight visits over your objection while he is less than 24 months old.  Furthermore the court will not permit unsupervised visits if they are to take place in an environment that is hazardous or unhealthy for the child.  He will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure the child is transported and kept in relative safety and security.  He need not have a car but if he is to transport the child he must provide a save vehicle with an approved car seat.  Similarly, if the child is to be in his (unfinished) house it must be reasonably free of safety hazards.  That is, plywood floors and bare drywall are probably okay, but exposed wiring and tools and building materials lying about are not.

 

He will certainly be required to provide whatever is necessary to ensure the child's safety and well-being himself, unless you are willing to provide it for him.  If he is unable or unwilling to do so, unsupervised visits are off the table.

 

To get the best idea of what you are facing and what the court is likely to permit or require, you should speak to a local family law attorney.

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