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As a complete shock to my sister she was having extreme stomach

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pains and went to the...
As a complete shock to my sister she was having extreme stomach pains and went to the emergency room expecting appendicitis - incredibly, however, upon conducting an ultrasound, the doctor discovered that she was actually in labor. To make a long, bizarre story short, she gave birth to a healthy baby that day. My sister is not married, nor is she in a relationship, but she is sure who the father is. She has not had contact with him for months and upon sharing the information of the birth of their child, he informed my sister that he had actually married last month and a lot of information surfaced indicating that he had been extremely deceitful. He is now asking for a dna test and saying he wants to be a part of the babies life. I am wondering what rights my sister has in maintaining sole custody while limiting his involvement to visitation only. They both live in MN. Thanks in advance for your help.
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Family Law
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12/1/2008
Family Lawyer: Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
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Thank you for your question.

Generally in situations when the parents are unmarried, the mother is generally awarded primary physical custody but both parents share legal decision making authority regarding the child's education, medical needs, religion, etc.. (called shared legal custody or joint legal custody). Only time the court would completely award sole legal custody would be if dad was an uninvolved parent or is unable to make decisions for the best interests of the child. Given that he wants to be an involved father and if he does not have a history which concerns the child's welfare, both parents would share legal custody but mom would have primary physical with visitation for dad.


You can review the MN statute which outlines the factors in custody cases, to see what is considered here.


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Customer reply replied 9 years ago

Does visitation mean dad visiting baby at mom's house, or baby going to dad's without mom? My sister has concerns with allowing her baby to go alone to his house with he and his new wife. She is currently breastfeeding, so it will be sometime before that would actually be possible, but it is a concern of hers.

 

Also, is the visitation structure simply something that can be worked out between the parents, or should some type of legal document be drafted, signed, etc., outlining the terms of the visitation agreement. If the legal document is the way to approach this, how does one go about ensuring that it is done in the most agreeable, affordable manner?

Family Lawyer: Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
While the child is an infant, visitation is generally at mom's home, generally no overnights. It may be possible for dad to get a few hours out with the baby not in contact with mom, breastfeeding cannot be used as an excuse if mom is able to produce enough milk to place in a bottle (Judge would have to decide this) or use other alternatives, but the court can also limit dad's visitation time enough to accomodate mom's feeding schedule. So long as dad does not pose a risk of harm to the child, the court is not going to deny dad from seeing the child alone, just because he is married. Dad will be given an opportunity to have a relationship with the child, from there if dad fails to make a commitment, then mom would have greater changes of restricting dad's contact.

Once the child is older, dad will be able to get more time and even overnights.



If I have been helpful, please click Accept for my time and research, that is the only way I get paid. If you need more help, please click reply. Positive Feedback is greatly appreciated and reciprocated. Feedback should relate to customer service and not about the law, which I have no control over, thank you.

Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. You are only paying me for such information given. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. No part of this disclaimer can be copied or reproduced without the express consent of the owner[lawNinvest]. Thank you.


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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
I assume this is all done through the courts - custody issues and visitation rights. Will it be the same for child support? Do you suggest hiring a lawyer to deal with this, or what does she need to do at this point to get the custody/visitation/child support issues settled?
Family Lawyer: Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer replied 9 years ago
Thank you for your reply.

The parents are permitted to establish their own parenting agreements, so it is possible for mom to get the exact terms she wants if dad is willing to agree. The court only gets involved when there is no agreement, usually through a court hearing instead of a trial. But to get this process started, it would involve a petition to the court. Child support would be a separate issue that can be addressed at court or through the state's child support enforcement agency. However, both issues will not be addressed until paternity has first been established.

If dad is willing to sit down with mom and work out a reasonable parenting order, then there is no need for a lawyer, but if mom knows dad will be fighting for custody and then child support, then yes she should seek a consultation with a local family law attorney to represent her interests.

I would suggest mom interview some attorneys to get one ready. Then try to work out with dad custody and child support on their own, if there is no agreement, then mom should use the lawyer to represent her.



If I have been helpful, please click Accept for my time and research, that is the only way I get paid. If you need more help, please click reply. Positive Feedback is greatly appreciated and reciprocated. Feedback should relate to customer service and not about the law, which I have no control over, thank you.

Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. You are only paying me for such information given. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. No part of this disclaimer can be copied or reproduced without the express consent of the owner[lawNinvest]. Thank you.

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