Can my daughters father get custody?

She will be 4 in 6 months and he walked away when she was 2 months old! the last night he tried to contact me was when she was 6 months. He wanted to take her for the weekend and I declined ecause she had no idea who he was and I didnt trust him with her. I told him then he could come to my mothers to visit with her under my supervision and he declined and that was the very last time he contacted me until today.

Asked on January 7, 2013 under Family Law, Maryland


Paula McGill / Paula J. McGill, Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Also licensed and practicing in Maryland.  So, Maryland law applies. 

The father has the right to seek visitation or custody and you have the right to apply for child support.  I hope you are getting child support regardless of the contact or noncontact the father has with his child.

In any event, as a general rule, if a father petitions the court for visitation of a young child, the court will grant him graduated visitation to allow the child to become accustomed to the father.  Of course, no visitation is rare when the father is an upstanding citisen, even with small children. 

I can only think of one absolutely outrageous case where the judge decided the father did not have formal visitation rights because the working mother was breast feeding.  He was an educator and had a preteen background.  This decision was in Georgia.  I doubt this would ever happen in Maryland, even if you are still breastfeeding the child at 4 years old.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Ultimately whether your daughter's father gets some semblance of custody or visitation rights with respect to your daughter depends upon the pleadings filed and the temperment of the court. Public policy in this country is to allow parents custody of their children unless the parent is shown to be a danger to the child.

Given what you have written, I suggest that you consult with a family law attorney for assistance and guidance.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.