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I am a father who currently has custody of his daughter. The mother has moved out of my house approximately 3 weeks ago to live with her parents and another man. She has only seen the baby 3 * in the 3 weeks that she has been gone, and 2 of those times were only for 10 minutes. She is now claiming that she has a new residence that she will be moving into next week. She is telling me that she is going to take the baby to live with her and another man. Division of Family Services is already involved but has not given me an update as to whether her parents house was fit for her other four children that are not biologically mine, but she claims that it was. My question is in 2 parts. 1, does she have the right to take the baby out of her current home after abandoning her for this amount of time? 2, does she have to have Division of Family Services verify her new residence as bit for all 5 children before she can take the baby? *
Additionally we were never married, and when I say that I have custody it is simply that she is currently living in my house where she has been her whole life, not that it was a court ordered custody situation. I am on the birth certificate as the father.
Hello! I would be glad to assist you give me one moment as I finish reading your situation and respond to each question
In response to part 1. Whether she has the right to take the baby out of the current home depends on whether you were married or not. If you were married, then no the baby is presumed to be yours, and you have just as much if not MORE rights to custody since you are the father and have been taking care of the minor child. If you WERE NOT married, unless you signed a voluntary declaration of paternity or your paternity has been established you legally have no rights over the child. Since you were NOT married, as I just read, odds are that she will have the legal rights. But Since you are on the BIRTH CERTIFICATE, there is an argument that you should be presumed to be the father. Either way, if you believe that there is a harm that is about to occur to your minor child you should call the police and not release the child. I would recommend a custody proceeding iMMEDIATELY
Part 2. No, Division of Family Services will evaluate each case on a child by child basis. Therefore, if there is NO open case relating to your daughter, you will need to report it.
yes, as far as a Division of Family Services open case for her there is 1.it has already been established that this is her home, and that it is fit for her.
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Then YES they would need to establish it is a fit home first
also, there is going to be a custody hearing do to me applying for cash benefits through the state with her as a beneficiary. However it is not a set date. Does that mean that she has to wait until that is established?
Yes she should wait until there are custody orders made. Were you given temporary orders pending the hearing? If not then both of you are entitled to custody until a determination is made
thank you for your responses, I have 1 more question though. Because we were never married, do I have to prove her as an unfit mother in a custody hearing before I will get custody in your opinion?
no, unfortunately there has been no legal determination for custody whatsoever.
Since you have custody now and she has barely even made attempts to see the child, it sounds like the best interest of the child will be to stay with you. But the court will want to maintain continuous and frequent contact with both parents, but this may mean supervised visitation and no overnights until she establishes a stable environment.
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yes, that helped a lot, thank you very much.
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