Can you gain custody of an unborn child?

My girlfriend is 5 months pregnant with my first son, and now wants to leave me. Is there anything that I can do to ensure I have some type of custody of my unborn baby?

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Family Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, of course there is.  You need to establish that you are the Father of the child first in order to be able to assert any rights.  This is done by either signing an Affidavit of Paternity in some areas or getting an order for a paternity test to be done once the baby is born.  Once paternity is established you can ask for joint custody and visitation. With the rights as a Father come the obligations as well.  In otherwords, you will be obligated to pay child support for your son as well.  I would seek help from a qualified attorney in your area, although you could try and start a proceeding yourself in Family Court.  But with such high stakes involved you may not want to take a chance.  Good luck.

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