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My youngest son is 10 years old. I was never married to his…

Customer Question
Hi, my youngest son...

Hi, my youngest son is 10 years old. I was never married to his father, and my son lived off and on with both of us up until these last 4 years for which he has been living with his father because I was not in a fit state to take care of him (nothing legal involved, i just knew my limits as I was battling addiction) I have been clean for over 2 years and have recently gotten my oldest son back who is a child from another marriage. My youngest son still lives in South Carolina with his father and the oldest son and I live in Arizona. When I ask the father if my son can come and spend the summers with me, he says no, my son has even asked him. I feel like he has taken control of my son and I have NO say. I am also concerned with the way his new girlfriend is treating him. We were never married and had my son out of wedlock there are absolutely no custody agreements in place. What rights do I have? How can I either get my son back or have him for half of the time. I know it's difficult because we are far away from each other. I am in a very good place now, full time job for over 2 years, going to online college and am responsible. What rights does he has an unwed father? His nam eis on the birth certificate and so is mine. Thanks in advance

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

My youngest son lives in South Carolina with his father and I am currently in Phoenix, AZ

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

No I haven't talked to one yet. I'm trying to wait unti things pass and hope that something will work out but I think I'm going to have to take legal action. I'm at the point where I honestly just want my son back.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No ok

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Family Law
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1/4/2018
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. So, generally, even if he is an unwed father, if he is the father, then he has the rights that would normally be extended to any other father under the law; however, this also means that you have the same rights that are afforded to any mother as well.

If the father is not willing to cooperate, then you can file a request for a modification of custody in the state where the children live. This means that you can ask the court to give you some authority to see the child and it's enforceable by the court.

Is this something you've considered yet?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have definitely considered it. I'm just not sure how much it would cost. Would I have to travel to South Carolina and appear in Court for this? I live in Arizona so it would be difficult, but I may try to figure something out.
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

I see. So, generally, the cost to file a petition like this is relatively cheap and most courts offer a fee waiver if you qualify financially. You may need to inquire because it really depends on the state. It is possible you'd have to show up, but if it is a major inconvenience, then you can ask the court if you can just appear via telephone. Most courts use something called "Court Call" which allows you to appear, but that is assuming that they would even need you to appear in court for any reason.

What other questions did you have for me regarding this?

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