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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2323
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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Through an affair, a child has been conceived. Paternity has

Customer Question

Through an affair, a child has been conceived. Paternity has been established. Baby due Mid-September. Mother-to-be is living with her dad, has no job, has very little family support, got a DUI while pregnant, evicted from her last residence, $700/mo from a rental property is her only income currently. As the father-to-be, my wife and I are worried about the wellbeing of the unborn child. We have two children, I am part owner of a company, we own our home, live a stable and healthy lifestyle and have a supportive extended family.
This woman's former boyfriend has reached out to is and has told us some things which make us nervous about the well being of this child in utero and when she is born. We want to know what, if anything, we may be able to do to legally fight for joint legal custody, but sole physical custody. We still want the mother to be involved, but would like the baby to be with us more to make sure she is getting the proper care she needs and deserves.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.
First of all, how was paternity established? I've never before heard of paternity being legally established before birth. Do you mean it's been established among the parties?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It has been established through blood test
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

You may have to judicially establish paternity if the mother doesn't cooperate in letting you sign the acknowledgment of paternity when the child's born. Either way you have to file a custody case as soon as you can. Don't asume you'll get custody right away but emergency order. I recommend getting a good attorney and expecting the process to be lengthy.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
This woman's background is unfortunately unstable. Her divorced parents both have a record. Her mom lives in Florida and she would like to move there, but because of her DUI, she is unable to move out of state for a year...which will be in April 2017. Her last for of income was as a stripper at a club. We were told her father, whom she lives with, sexually abused her when she was younger. We were also told she smokes cigarettes and apparently used to be addicted to adderal. I obviously made a big mistake, but don't want my child coming into this world into an unhealthy and unstable situation. As the father to a child who was not married to this woman, I don't have any rights before she is born. Trying to find out what I can do preemptively.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

Usually, newborns are not taken away from a mother, especially if paternity is not established or she is breastfeeding. But it you can get visitation right away, that will make it easier to get custody.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
If she doesn't let me sign the acknowledgement of paternity, she wouldn't be able to claim child support from me, right? I want to live up to my legal and financial obligation, but my biggest concern is the child.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She has now moved in with her father, who lives 90 minutes from us. How can we get her to cooperate with visitation?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can't file a custody case until the child is born though. How long does that usually take?
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

If you don't believe she will cooperate, you will have to get a visitation order through the court. She would need to get paternity established to get child support, but if you wait, you miss out on time with your child. I don't recommend delaying an establishment of paternity. A disputed custody case can take a year or more to complete, but in the meantime, you can get temporary custody and visitation orders.

Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

She may be more likely to cooperate with establishing paternity and visitation it she doesn't suspect you're seeking custody. You have to gauge the best strategy in your case with regards ***** ***** the case at the right time.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Since we know paternity results already, paternity is established, right?I agree not letting her know our plans for custody. I wish we could give her the benefit of the doubt she will be a good parent, but she has yet to prove any of that thus far.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Do you feel I have a good case or legitimate concerns for wanting to have custody of this child? I really just want to do what is best for the child, my wife and other kids too.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What types of things do I need to show proof of questionable adequate home stability? Her former boyfriend said he would be willing to testify on our behalf of her character, etc
Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

No. The dna test results do not legally establish paternity. Ca

You can either do that with her cooperation through signing the Acknowledge of paternit or you have to file a court case for paternity.

Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

You definitely have legitimate concerns - especially getting a DUI while pregnant.

Expert:  Steven K. replied 2 months ago.

There's no one set of things to prove to show instability. You want to show that the instability renders it in your child's best to live with you. Housing instability, substance abuse, these kinds of things are all relevant.

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