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Thank you for your question.To answer your question directly, NO, he cannot simply appear. Just because his name is XXXXX XXXXX certificate does not mean anything if there is a court order in place transferring sole custody to the mother. He would not have rights toward the child in that case, and he would have to go to court and file to obtain rights. However you can do the same, while the mother is in prison you can go to court and file for formal guardianship and seek permanent rights to the child while the mother is not available. You can point to your bond with the child, your close relationship, your past 7 years of raising the child as your own, and to the lack of fitness on part of the mother and father, and that having your child reside with the absentee father would not be in the child's best interest.Good luck.
Thank you Dimitry,
Just for clarification, there was a joint managing conservator order placed by the court when he was found to be biological father. The mother was shown as Primary Joint Managing and he was shown as Joint managing or Possessory Conservator with the standard visitation rights of 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends but he has not used them. Can he show up at your school and remove her. The school has a copy of the agreement that my ex-wife KK signed with me.
Richard,Thank you for your follow-up. Ugh, that makes it tougher. His rights remain even if he never utilized them. You would need to move fast and file for emergency sole custody and guardianship via an ex parte petition on grounds that you are in fear that the absentee father would appear and kidnap the child. Since he has no prior relationship with the child but you do, the courts will likely side with you based on your bond and grant you rights which would keep him from taking the child. But you would likely still need to file that petition and seek permanent rights.Good luck.