How Do I File For Full Custody Before My Baby Is Born

11 Replies
shawty101 - November 27

Ok, I am having my first child. I moved to another state at 4mos pg because my childs father was running the streets and staying in trouble with the police, then bringing the stress to me. We constantly were arguing and he started trying to fight me. I was always crying and worried and my doctor sd i needed to eliminate some stress. So i moved with my parents in another state. He is still in and out of jail and court and I know he will not want to or be able to pay child support. He says that getting a job isnt for him- he just needs to hustle in the street(with nothing to show for it but jail). Does anyone think I should file for full custody or know how i do it


lier - November 27

someone suggested this to me...and I am actully really thinking of doing it. Since you live in another state. Just put father unknown on the birth certificate. Then you don't have to worry and in some states you get more aid for not knowing who the father is. Also, if the father deciede he wants custdy first he would have to go through the process of proving the child is his through a DNA test, then it would be another 6 months before a court date could be established for him to even file for visitation. And the way he sounds he probably wont be out of prision long enough to do that. Plus it doesn't seem like you are going to get much money out of him, since he won't have in valuble income.


shawty101 - November 28

This seems to be a very practical suggestion. I have no other ideas so it is actually something i will really consider. Thanks


guccigal87 - November 29

i would definatly do what lier said to do . . you dont needa guy like that around your baby plus if he has a record chances of him even getting custody is VERY VERY SLIM!! and you will get more support from the government if your baby is unknown.. i have found that out the hard way because i know who the dad is i cant get ANY finacial a__sistance.. they think the dad should pay.. and if he doesnt have a job.. he wont pay! follow lier addvice!


lilmomma2b - December 5

shawty101, my best advice is write down everytime you can remember him getting in trouble, dates, what he was arrested for, convictions and so on. IF he gets a job write that down then how long he kept it, was he fired or quit. Just doc_ment every bit of info you can think of. When you go to court, if he tries for visitation or whatever you need this info in hopes of proving him unfit to have unsupervised visits with this baby.


nicole p - December 8

i agree with lier on this one. just put down that you dont know who the baby's father is and that way he wont even know that the baby was born. it doesnt sound like he is ready to be a father anyways and then you wont have to worry about him trying to take the baby if he changes his mind. because as long as his name isnt on the birth certificate, without a DNA test, no one can prove him to be the father. and sure child support would be nice, but having your child would be alot nicer im sure!!!


mischelly30 - December 10

Shawty I feel you. The father of my baby is currently serving time, too, for similar reasons. In most states, you can't list the father on the birth certificate unless he is present to sign for paternity, so debating what to put on the certificate is a moot point of conjecture. I'm a__suming that you would have no problems demonstrating to the courts that you are a suitable parent, right? Then I suggest that you DO apply for custody rather than just ignoring the situation. The courts will award sole legal and physical custody to you and deny his visitation rights if he is currently incarcerated. When he gets out, he will have to pet_tion through the courts to change the orders. This is for your own protection. If you do not have custody of your child, technically it is legal for his/her birth father to take the child. So, say your ex- pops up somewhere down the line, takes the child, and won't give him/her back or, worse yet, leaves the state and disappears. If you don't have custody, there's nothing you can legally do. This actually happened to my aunt...her ex-husband took their two children in the middle of the night and left the state, and she didn't see or hear from them for close to two years. There was nothing she could legally do, as she didn't have a custody arrangement through the courts.


mischelly30 - December 10

Oh--about how to get custody...I recommend you talk to and hire a family lawyer, as it's a lot of paperwork and, frankly, I think it's easier and nicer for someone else to handle it all. I think the process might differ slightly from state to state, so there might be inconsistencies and I don't want to give you incorrect info. But, if you want to know the process that I went through, let me know and I'll be happy to share.


shawty101 - December 10

Thank you very much mischelly30. I would be very interested in hearing how you went about handling this. As you stated, I have heard the process is lengthy or maybe c_mbersome, however I know that making better decisions is something that is needed going forward! Is this something that needs to be done before she is born? I know that he wont be hear to sign the birth certificate. He dosent even know where I am nor will he break a sweat to find out. I do want to do whats best. So please...elaborate.


shawty101 - December 10

Sorry for the typos! kinda in a rush


mischelly30 - December 11

Ok, well, here is what I had to do. I'm in CA, I think the laws may differ from state to state but the basics should be the same. I filed a "pet_tion to establish paternity" and in the form I requested full legal and physical custody. Because he's incarcerated somewhere and he can't be served directly, we served by publication. This means that, I had to publish an announcement of the upcoming custody hearing in the local paper for a period of 2 weeks. This serves as his notification of the hearing. Of course, he didn't respond (I doubt he even saw it). Then I just showed up for court on the appointed date, and the judge processed the paperwork. Child support is normally started automatically, but because he's incarcerated, he is exept from paying child support, so they skipped that part. As far as visitation, that isn't automatically is a separate file. He would need to file for visitation and, since he's incarcerated and likely didn't even know about the hearing, he didn't. That said, I doubt any judge would make me bring the baby to the prison for his visitation, so I wasn't worried about him filing, regardless. When he gets out, he'll have to file for visitation at that time, if he still desires it. Hope that helps.


mischelly30 - December 11

Oh...and, yes, you can file all this paperwork before the baby is born (at least in CA). I also requested and was awarded him to pay 1/2 of my maternity expenses. Not that he did, but if he at some later point wants visitation, that is an order that will be waiting for him.



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