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to file for custody or not

Started by balleros, Dec 14, 2013, 01:22:26 PM

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balleros

I am completely new to this forum and I'd appreciate some non  legal help or help coming from parents, not from an attorney.
I have a son who has my last name as his bio dad was completely absent at the time of his birth. We were not married.
I filed for child support through the state agency and I never filed for custody.
My son sees his paternal relatives but he rarely sees his bio dad. let's say that in 2 1/2 years he saw his father 3 or 4 times and perhaps 2 of those were times I drove my son closer to his father who lives 66 miles away from us.
Father knows he has 100 % access to his son but I guess he is just not into being a father. He likes to receive updates and that's about it.
I didn't bother with child custody at first as my son is only 2 and he didn't really know what was going on. Since my son interacts with his aunties and grandfather, at some point the questions will start and here's my question:
shall I file for custody?
I am open to his father getting visitation.I am open to anything.I just don't know if he will request it.
Also, what are the advantages of filing for custody?
thanks
In case the state is relevant, we are in CA

ocean

You have custody. If you look at your child support papers closely there may be even wordage about it.
1. Since you receive child support, you have custody
2. Since you were never married, you have custody.

Joint custody would give dad some say in what school he goes to and any medical decisions that may have to be made regarding child. It would be a joint decision between both (but in reality you would be at the dr making the decision anyway).

Visitation- If dad is quiet on the issue, offer it every once in a while in writing for proof and leave it alone. If and when he wants more, cross that bridge when it comes. Depending on age and your relationship , you may be able to work it out without court.

It is great that you are "allowing" his family to see child. Document that time on a calendar just in case it is needed down the road. If Dad feels more comfortable as the child grows and not a baby, see how visits go and offer him the time. It really is in the best interests for children to know and see both parents. If you can agree, then no costs in fighting it out in court and your child will be a lot happier.

jsmith1

#2
If you are getting child support, you have the custody. As a father he has visitation rights which he might fight for if you don't allow him to see your child. I don't think at this point you should go to court and waste time and money.. but do keep documentation if anything comes up later

tigger

Quote from: jsmith1 on Dec 18, 2013, 08:23:23 AM
. . . . As a father he has visitation rights which he might fight for if you don't allow him to see your child.  . . . .

Correction:  As a father he as PARENTAL RIGHTS to parent and raise his child, NOT to visit his child.  And the "your child" is misleading as it implies that the child has only one parent and not two.
The wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!