What can I do if my child’s unsupportive and uninvolved parent suddenly wants custody?

Since I was pregnant, up until now, the father hasn’t supported in anyway. I had my son 6 months ago and he was not at the hospital and he is not on my son’s birth certificate. Today he wrote me saying that he would take me to court if I filed for child support. I am currently unemployed but I am a full-time student providing for my son by myself with scholarships and grants. The father said he would not take me to court if I gave him my son every other weekend. He would be driving my son 2 hours away from me. Which isn’t fair for a little child. He’s been absent and suddenly wants to take my son.

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

California encourages at minimum visitation for both parents.  The standard in California is to seek what is in the best interest of the child (read family code Section 3011). 

I would recommend hiring an attorney, filing for child support and fighting off attempts to drastically change the custody situation.  Although you are not going to like me saying so, I think that every other weekend is a modest amount of time.  A court would most likely agree with the 2 hour drive being too much for an infant, and might require the father to visit closer to your area. 

I am not sure where your resistance to the father's visitation is coming from, but if the father was abusive to you during the relationship, you have options.  If you get a domestic violence restraining order, under CA Family Code Section 6323 the court will be very leery of giving him any custody or visitation.

You need to file for child support regardless of the visitation issue because your child is entitled to that support.  It also sounds like it would help you about now.  Scholarships and grants are nice, but they are going to come to a screeching halt someday and result in loan payments.

I would recommend retaining an attorney to make sure you get the best result.  Good luck!

 

 


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