What to do if my son had a child out of wedlock and the mother is threatening to deny access to the child?

He loves his 16 month old very much and would be willing to share custody. What are an unwed fathers rights regarding his child?

Asked on September 20, 2012 under Family Law, New Jersey


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your son needs to consult with a family law attorney as to the desire to have visitation and custody with his child. Such can be accomplished via a stipulation and order to be filed in the county and state where the minor child resides or by way of an actual petition.

Note, your son will be obligated for child support for this child regardless of your son's age. Your son has at least the right of visitation for the child based upon what you have written.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Any biological parent has rights to his or children--at least to visitation, if not to joint or shared custody--as well as responsibilities, such as to child support. These rights are determined and enforced by the courts. Your son should consult with a family law attorney about this situation. If he cannot afford an attorney, he might try contacting support groups for unwed or divorced fathers, Legal Services, or local law schools (many have "clinics" where law students, under professor supervision, provide legal assistance). One of these resources might be able to provide free or low cost legal assistance.

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