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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10256
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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In the state of North Carolina what the the rights of the mother

Customer Question

In the state of North Carolina what the the rights of the mother (unmarried to father)? Father signed birth certificate however, no custody preceedings have transpired. Mother went out of town, left the child in the care and custody of mothers mother. Father of child got the child for a little bit but refuses to return the child even though the mother is back in town.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Good Day! I'll do my best to assist you. Please remember: I only provide general information and a local attorney should always be consulted.
I'm sorry to hear this; a few minutes please as I look into this.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your patience.
An unmarried father has no rights to custody or visitation until the court deems what type of custody/visitation arrangement would be appropriate under the circumstances.
If an alleged father named on the birth certificate wishes to obtain custody or visitation rights, they must file a petition with the court, setting forth this request, along with a copy of the birth certificate. The court will hold a hearing to determine if this request is in the best interests of the child.
Legitimation of Children Born Out of Wedlock.
§ 49-10. Legitimation.
The putative father of any child born out of wedlock, whether such father resides in North Carolina or not, may apply by a verified written petition, filed in a special proceeding in the superior court of the county in which the putative father resides or in the superior court of the county in which the child resides, praying that such child be declared legitimate. The mother, if living, and the child shall be necessary parties to the proceeding, and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the petition. A certified copy of a certificate of birth of the child shall be attached to the petition. If it appears to the court that the petitioner is the father of the child, the court may thereupon declare and pronounce the child legitimated; and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the court order decreeing legitimation of the child. The clerk of the court shall record the order in the record of orders and decrees and it shall be cross-indexed under the name of the father as plaintiff or petitioner on the plaintiff's side of the cross-index, and under the name of the mother, and the child as defendants or respondents on the defendants' side of the cross-index. (Code, s. 39; Rev., s. 263; C.S., s. 277; 1947, c. 663, s. 1; 1971, c. 154; 1977, c. 83, s. 1.)
This statute is located here:
Additionally, child support and child custody/visitation are 2 separate matters, so even if the father is not awarded custody or visitation, there can still be support obligations. The mother can seek assistance from the child support services (free, or $25 annually, depending on circumstances) to help establish a child support order:
They can be contacted here:
While the name on the birth certificate helps to establish paternity, it does not confer any custody/visitation rights on the father.
This needs to be done by court order.
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Expert:  LegalGems replied 2 years ago.
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