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JulieO

Father seeking custody of infant

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My friend has a three month old son. Her baby’s father lives out of state and they’ve never been married. The mom has a history of past drug abuse but has been clean and sober since leaving voluntary rehab. The mom is an excellent parent and she is also breastfeeding her son. The father is accusing her of being high all of the time and even has the police called to her house under these false allegations. He has petitioned the court for an emergency hearing saying that the baby is in danger and he is seeking full custody. My friend is absolutely terrified and she does not have an attorney because she can’t afford one. I keep telling her that she has nothing to worry about. The father I has no proof of any of his allegations. Any opinions are welcome.

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The baby's father must first establish paternity.  That, in turn,  can lead to a requirement that he pay child support for the next eighteen years.  Your friend should petition for child support immediately.  Juvenile courts are constructed to be easier to deal with than other courts and she will probably be assisted in doing the paperwork to answer the fathers complaint an asking for paternity testing and support.  The odds on taking a three month old baby from the mother are slim to none unless she is under arrest.

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6 hours ago, JulieO said:

Her baby’s father lives out of state and they’ve never been married

 

Has the alleged father's paternity been established?  If so, how was it established?  Note that "his name is on the birth certificate" does not answer this question.

 

 

6 hours ago, JulieO said:

Any opinions are welcome.

 

Opinions about what?  You claim your friend is straight; the father says otherwise.  We have no means of determining which of you is correct.  You told us she's "absolutely terrified."  From the outside looking in, that suggests maybe she's not as "clean and sober" as you assert.  In any event, in legal cases, there are no guarantees, so your assertion that "she has nothing to worry about" is way off the mark.  The best thing anyone here can say is that the father will have to do more than make accusations.  He'll have to back up those accusations with actual evidence.

 

 

37 minutes ago, RetiredinVA said:

Your friend should petition for child support immediately.

 

I agree.  However, a child support petition will require that the mother prove paternity, which might not be in her interests at the moment, so she might want to wait until this custody fight is done (or until the alleged father has established paternity) before doing this.

 

 

39 minutes ago, RetiredinVA said:

Juvenile courts are constructed to be easier to deal with than other courts

 

I don't completely disagree with this, but this is a family court matter, not a juvenile court matter.

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1 hour ago, pg1067 said:

I don't completely disagree with this, but this is a family court matter, not a juvenile court matter.

It's a matter of terminology.  I am accustomed to "Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court" handling custody, support and paternity matters and misspoke.  I see Oregon has separate Juvenile and Family Courts.   I should have looked first.

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I would strongly suggest your friend get an attorney. If she is hurting for money, try legal aid clinics, and law school clinics for free or reduced cost services.

 

Multiple police reports that indicate she is not under the influence might actually help her; both in bolstering the claim that she is high "all the time", and that the ex has an unrealistic/unfounded concern for the baby's safety.

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