I need to know if i legally need documentss stating that I am sole guardian or will the lack of the father’s name on the birth certificate be enough?

My son and I live in one state; his father lives in another. I am the sold guardian for my son. His father decided not to have his name listed on the birth certificate and does not have contact with him. Paternity and child support have been established.

Asked on September 18, 2012 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Until there is a court order in place saying that you have sole custody of the child, then Father could assert his rights at any time to the child since you mention that paternity and support have already been established-- assuming that it was by a court order.  If there is a court decision/ruling that says he's dad, that will trump the absence of his name from the birth certificate.  If a court has already ordered child support to be paid, then most likely you're already covered and those documents should have named you the managing conservator with the right to designate the residence and general upbring of the child.  If your orders do not include lanaguage to that effect, then you may need to modify those orders.  A unilateral affidavit of guardianship is not sufficient to modify a court order. 

If you want to make sure that the father cannot come by and just pick-up and leave with your child, you really need orders in place that say he cannot.  You may even want to consider an agreed termination if he has no interest in being involved in the child's life.  Termination is a little harder, but courts are sometimes more willing when there is someone will to step up the plate as dad.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.