If my son’s father and I were never married, do I automatically have full custody unless he files for joint or do I need to file for custody?

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If my son’s father and I were never married, do I automatically have full custody unless he files for joint or do I need to file for custody?

My son’s father keeps threatening that he will take my son from me.I know that in court the judge will rule against him,but I am afraid that he can file for temporary custody.I am my son’s primary caregiver,where his father has seen him one time in eight months. Him and his friends smoke marijuana and take prescription pills to get high.They constantly have people fighting at the house where he lives,which also has no heat/air,hot water,and is infested with roaches. There is also nine people living in the house already,and the majority of them smoke. I do not want my son in that environment.

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

He has equal right to this child unless he either gets his parental rights taken away from him by court order, he gives up his parental rights voluntarily or you obtain sole custody and he has no right to visitation. If this is the situation, you need to hire an attorney to square away your rights.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

So long as you have custody of your son presently and there has never been a court order with respect to child custody in favor of your son's father, under the laws of all states in this country you have custody of your son, not the father. The courts would enforce the status quo at this time.


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