If an unwed father pays child support, does that give them rights to the child?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2011

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If an unwed father pays child support, does that give them rights to the child?

I’m 32 weeks pregnant and the father to my child has contributed nothing to the child. I don’t want him to say, when the child is born, that he can come and pick up the child? Can he request this by going to court? Also, I’m still seeing the baby’s father, does that leave me defenseless if we were to have to go to court? Do I need to cut contact with him? Technically we’re still dating on/off, I just don’t want to leave it open to where he can take the child to his family. I believe they are the type to take the child, as in run away or hurt him. Also, I’m 18, he’s 17.

Asked on June 25, 2011 under Family Law, Georgia


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Child support, child custody, and visitation are all separate issues.  The fact that you are seeing the father should not affect these issues.  It would be advisable to contact your County's Department of Child Support to order the father to pay child support after the baby is born. 

There are two types of custody; physical and legal.  Physical custody means the parent with whom the child lives.  Legal custody means making decisions about the child's healthcare, education, etc. 

Physical custody and legal custody can be sole or joint.  Sole means only one parent has custody.  Joint means that both parents have custody.

The father has a right to visitation.  Either parent  can petition the court regarding the issues of child support, child custody, and visitation.

When an Order to Show Cause (court form) is filed with the court and served on the other parent, the court will set a date for a hearing on the requested issues.  If you file an Order to Show Cause, you should also file a declaration under penalty of perjury setting forth the facts that support your case.  Attach a proof of service to the documents you are filing with the court.  The proof of service just verifies the date of mailing the documents to the other parent.  You can use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it would say that you are 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless otherwise specified to ______ (name and address of the other parent) on ________ (date).  You sign and date at the bottom under penalty of perjury.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

If  you are concerned the other parent could run away with or hurt the baby, you can get a protective order (restraining order) against him.

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.

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