Can I choose to give up my rights as father?
Question: I am thinking about giving up my rights to my children. What consequences would I face if I wanted to do so? Would I still be required to pay child support?
Answer: You cannot give up your rights as a father to get out of your obligation to pay child support. However, there are limited circumstances where the child can be adopted, at which point one would no longer have to pay support since they ar no longer the legal parent of that child. The primary question is do you really want to give up all rights to your child and secondly is there someone else willing to step in to adopt the child and assume the financial obligations that go along with supporting the child.
Can someone try to get me to pay child support without a DNA test?
Question: I met a girl a while ago and we made out a few times but did nothing more (a.k.a no intercourse). All of a sudden I start receiving calls from a child support office claiming that I am the father of this girl’s child and have to pay child support for her baby. Can they make me pay without a DNA test that proves I am the father of the child? Do I need an attorney to represent me in court?
Answer: While you do not have to have an attorney represent you in court, it would definitely be beneficial given the complexity of your case. If you failed to respond to a complaint regarding this matter, you may have been defaulted and no DNA test would have been required. If you were never served with a complaint, than you should request a DNA test as soon as possible.
Who has legal jurisdiction in my child custody case?
Question: My boyfriend and I lived in the state of Nevada. Our son was two months old when I came to California. When my son was 4 months old my boyfriend decided to move out to California. Two months later things didn’t work out and my ex moved back to Nevada. Immediately I filed for custody and at the time of filing my son was 6 months. Two weeks later I’m served with papers from Nevada claiming I improperly filed. Who has rightful jurisdiction? California or Nevada?
Answer: California’s jurisdiction requirements state that the child’s home state is the state the child has been living in for the past six (6) months. Because your son was only six (6) months old when you filed the action, and you appear to have lived in California for the majority of his life, California should have jurisdiction. It is likely that your boyfriend will contest California having jurisdiction, so it would be in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney.
Can I deny visitation even though we have no child custody agreement?
Question: Me and my ex-boyfriend have no legal custody agreement for our four month old. I am the custodial parent, and he signed the birth certificate and now wants a DNA test. Can I deny him visitation, and if I do will it reflect badly on me in court later?
Answer: If there is no custody/visitation order in place, than visitation should be agreed upon by both parties. The court looks at the “best interest” of the child when making custody/visitation orders. Therefore, if you are going to deny him visitation, you should have a good reason or else it will reflect badly upon you in court. You should help facilitate contact between both your child and the child’s father. You should file a motion with the court for custody and visitation orders. Your ex-boyfriend may request a DNA test, but if you truly believe he is the father, there shouldn’t be an issue with this request.
Can a spouse with a mental disability be granted child custody?
Question: Can a disabled spouse who has a mental disability retain legal joint custody of the children? The father is on SSDI with mental issues and has a recent felony, and the mother is full time employed
Answer: When deciding custody and visitation issues, the court uses the “best interests” of the child standard. If the father’s disability affects his parenting ability and places the children in harm, than he may not be granted primary custody, but he may be granted reasonable visitation or supervised visitation. While you mention legal custody in your question, please note there are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody deals with making decisions for issues such as education, health, etc.