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Ask Legalease Your Own Question
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  13 years experience, divorce & custody issues, protective orders, child abuse issues
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Im eighteen and just gave birth to my first child one month

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I'm eighteen and just gave birth to my first child one month ago, her father is 17 and we are no longer together. I want him to sign his parental rights over to me because he says he doesnt want anything to do with her, he also says he doesnt believe she's his. I could make him get a DNA test to prove that he is, but then I'm afraid he'll change his mind and want visitation... What should I do?

Hello. As it stands right now, if his name is XXXXX XXXXX the birth certificate and you are not married to him, then he has no legal rights to your child. The only way he can obtain rights to your child is if he petitions the court for visitation rights. If he does that, the court will most definitely make him take a DNA test and establish parentage and the court will order him to pay a set amount of child support every week to you. However, if you are receiving any type of state or federal welfare benefits at this time OR you receive those benefits at any time in the future, the state's child support enforcement department will deny benefits to you and your child unless you name the father and then they will summons him, make him take a DNA test, and then make him pay weekly child support either directly to you or to the state to reimburse the state for any benefits that you might receive from the state. So, if you have no intention of seeking state benefits, then you need do nothing at this time unless / until he decides that he wants to petition a court for visitation rights -- then you do have the right to contest but if he pushes it, the court will order a DNA test over your objections and will acknowledge him as the father of the child AND grant visitation rights (along with ordering child support) to him when he decides that he wants to step forward and be a father to his/your child. If YOU try to bring a petition in front of a court to terminate his parental rights, the court will probably not permit it unless you are marrying another man who is adopting your child and who agrees to assume all financial responsibility for your child (which would let your ex off the hook completely). The days when a woman could simply leave a birth certificate blank and still receive state / federal benefits are over and ended with the DNA testing now done by courts all over the country -- because the DNA tests can pretty much conclusively prove that he is the father (before DNA there were no really conclusive tests that could prove parentage, so the courts and the state child support enforcement departments could not really enforce a parenting order against a man when the woman refused to name him as the father of the child -- it is a different story today and the state can pursue him whether you want them to or not).


That explains your rights / positions here in a nutshell. GOOD LUCK


Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time. I will be happy to answer additional follow up questions. THANK YOU

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What if I already recieve benifits and they have not yet asked about her father? Will they ask later?

Yes, they will eventually get around to asking you who the father is and forcing you to name the father -- and they will cut off your benefits if you do not cooperate in naming him. I have seen this happen in many different states (including to family members of mine). The state will then make him pay child support if DNA is positive and if he wants visitation rights, he can petition the court to get those rights.


Please press the GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so I will be paid for my time.

Edited by Mary M Esquire on 11/2/2010 at 6:10 AM EST
Legalease and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello -- I note that you viewed the second answer almost immediately after I posted it. Do you have further questions for me? If not, can you please press ACCEPT? I went out on a limb here and answered your question -- I was not supposed to do that because one of the parties in your question is under 18 years of age (the father is 17) -- but I wanted to be certain that you received an answer here. I realize that many people think that lawyers are wealthy, but that is simply not true. While there are some lawyers that make obscene amounts of money, the vast majority of us are struggling to survive just like the next guy. I was hit hard by this recession and I am a single mother and at the moment Just Answer is my only source of income because I have suffered through several rounds of cutbacks at two firms where I did subcontracted legal work.


Just Answer is a "PAY-for-services" website and I am not paid a paycheck nor do I receive any compensation from Just Answer, so if you do not press ACCEPT I will not be paid for this Question & Answer session and that is NOT fair -- when you perform work for someone or some company, you expect to be paid and it is the same with me -- we work on the honor system here at Just Answer and we hope that customers will follow through with the ACCEPT, because it is the honorable thing to do. Even after you press ACCEPT, I will be more than happy to answer follow up questions from you. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR USING JUST ANSWER AND FOR PRESSING ACCEPT at the bottom of this ANSWER BOX before you close out of this question and close out of this site.


If you do not press ACCEPT, then other experts will not answer questions for you in the future -- and I and the other experts may come in handy if you have to respond to any court actions filed by this young man (we can actually help you to draft responses for the court AND the child welfare agencies & child support agencies).



-- Mary

Edited by Mary M Esquire on 11/2/2010 at 12:23 PM EST