Can my soon-to-be ex-husband get custody ofour daughter even though he didn’t sign her birth certificate and I had her before we got married?

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Family Law, Washington


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he is the biological Father and that has been legally established then he has the same rights as you do to custody of your child.  Having the child prior to marriage does not preclude a biological father from establishing his rights.  He just has to work a little bit at it.  When you give birth during a marriage it is assume that the child is a child of the marriage so there is no need to do anything else.  If he has not "legally" established that he is the father at this point it also does not matter.  He can at any time.  And you would want that for support. Now, custody comes n all shapes and sizes.  Joint custody is generally preferred by the courts rather than sole custody.  But joint does not mean for all purposes.  There can be a "custodial parents" and visitation rights.  Seek some guidance here.  Good luck.

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