Thank you for your clarification, J.
At this point, because he is not on the birth certificate nor has he filed an affirmation of paternity with the state, he is not a legal father, per se. In other words, at this point, he has no legal right
to the child and may be denied access to the child.
He always has the option to file to have visitation rights assigned, although that does not guarantee that he would be granted this right. Allow me to explain.question 1 do i need to file for custody in new jersey? been living here a year
According to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction And Enforcement Act, since you have been living in NJ for 6 months or more and no prior custody matter exists/has existed, NJ has jurisdiction so he would have to file in NJ.question 2 can the father get custody or visitation?
He can try
. The Court decides on custody based on the rule of thumb of "best interest of the child." This includes, but is not limited to, general stability of the parent, financial stability, indoctrination of the child in the current school and environment, household condition and living condition of the child, other persons living in the house, etc. The courts generally do not like to split the custody 50/50 since this is hard on the child unless both parents agree and as for this.
One parent usually becomes the custodian and the other parent becomes the "visiting" parent which is generally one day a week, every other weekend, and alternating holidays. If the parents live far apart, an equivalent order but with fewer (yet longer) visitation periods may be rendered. The nuanced points of the custody can either be decided by the parties or the Court, if the parties cannot come to an agreement.
Even if a parent does not get managing custody, they are almost guaranteed visitation unless they have a drug problem, alcohol dependency, or an unsafe home environment. Abuse and or neglect of the child or previous children are an almost automatic bar for even visitation, although supervised visitation may be granted by the Court. Given that the child has been with you all this time and his past, the Court is unlikely to switch custody without a compelling reason so the child is very, very likely to remain with you. Considering his past, he may
get supervised visitation for a few hours a week, perhaps, at first.
Of course, that is the standard order of possession
. That order can be modified if both parties agree or if the Court finds that it is an extraordinary situation.
Note that he would also have to pay child support - see here
.question 3 if the father files for parentage and custody in minnesota is that the court that would be used or would it be where i live in new jersey?
No, it would be NJ that has proper jurisdiction. It matters where the child
lives, and if the child has lived in NJ for 6+ months, then NJ has proper jurisdiction. If he files in MN, that custody matter may then be quashed, or, transferred to NJ upon your request to the Court.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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