Family Law (Divorce, Family Relations)/I need to know what to do
I am a single mother raising my two year old daughter. I was in a crazy relationship with her father. When I was pregnant he never went to any appointments with me. And when I was four months pregnant I found drugs in my home. I left him after that. He was there when I gave birth but I have not seen him since. He never signed the birth certificate and two months after She was born he was incarcerated. He was released from prison a week ago and he got married to his first child's mother. My daughter gets Medicaid and they are seeking paternity and child support from him. I moved to NC from NY and I have been raising her as a single parent. He owes back child support for 2 other children. I am nervous he will ask for visitation and I will have to move back to NY. This guy is a stranger to my daughter. He is a felon and he does hardcore drugs. What can I do to get full custody, while I'm in NC?? I want him to have no rights. It's in my daughters best interest to not know this man until She is old enough to make her own decisions. Thanks so much, a concerned parent
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY: I am someone with experience with Family law matters, and can give some directions of what I would do but these are my opinions: I strongly recommend that you get an ATTORNEY who specializes in family law in your immediate county/country.
First kudos for taking on the responsibility of becoming a Mom....The time is short Amanda so enjoy every minute, take lots of photographs, create lot of memories. Now let me see if I can help, ok.
1. Child: This is a bit sticky issue Amanda because 'they' whoever 'they' are with reference to NY or NC are seeking paternity action and child support:If it is proven via paternity testing that ex ,who was just released, is the father. Then he will have certain Father rights within the family law structure: But his chances of visitation rights are very low.
What I recommend is that you seek out a Professional Family law attorney ASAP, and file to have his parenting rights terminated: If I read this correctly, the father has not had contact with said child for over a year: Therefore through the process of filing for termination of father rights which include public notification he could loose those rights. This would make you care of child much easier, less stress.
2. Move from NY to NC: Well this is good and bad: The courts are getting very strict on 'movement' of children because it causes a great strain in the family structure of Mom and Dad: Normally the primary parent now has to file a petition to the courts notification of moving, and Dad has a chance to respond, and request denial of child: There must be proof beyond reasonable doubt that the move is in the best interest of said child: Which in your case , now the good news, it appears it was. Just be cautious and ready to get some feedback from the courts on this issue. Work with your Attorney to prepare to prove why you move which must show the move was in the best interest of said child.
3. Full Custody: IF you file for termination of parental rights, and they are approved then you will have full custody of said child: HOWEVER, if DAD decides to fight for his rights then stand ready for a possible custody battle: Again not likely because of DADs background but again be prepared work with Attorney: Get your ducks in line to fight if you have too, ok.
In most cases I think it is very wise that BOTH parents work out an arrangement that said child can have visitation with DAD and form that bond: This is what the courts are moving towards: However, the first and most important fact is time with Mom and Dad MUST BE in the best interest of said child. Always think Amanda what is in the best interest of said child which it appears your have made good choices so far...
Most Attorney and Law firms will offer 1/2 hr free time to consult on the case, do your research Amanda on the Attorney you choose: Get references and call and talk with them, ok.