If my girlfriend is pregnant with my child and wants to move to Brazil to raise my child, what rights do I have as a father?

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If my girlfriend is pregnant with my child and wants to move to Brazil to raise my child, what rights do I have as a father?

What kind of lawyer do I need to have?

Asked on October 20, 2012 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Once the child is born, you can file a custody suit to have yourself officially declared "dad" and to set up a visitation schedule to insure that you have time with the child.  Courts can and have placed residency restrictions on parents who maintain primary custody of the child, but usually only do so on a showing of good cause.  The facts of your situtation may or may not get the judge to limit where she lives with the child.  You need to find out where in Brazil she plans to reside.  You may be able to argue that you could provide a better living environment in the states-- depending on where exactly she is going. 

As far as rights, once you are officially declared "dad", you have the same rights as the mother.  However, the judge will usually only grant one parent the right to decide the primary residence of the child. 

A family law attorney can help you with the filing of the custody suit and developing factors to either get custody or have a residency restriction placed on your girlfriend. 


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