Does my ex have rights as a parent even though he has been absent for 5 years?

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My ex has been absent from my daughters life for 5 years. He now wants to try to get back in to her life. My ex is not on the birth certificate he did not want his name on there because I would not give her his last name. We were never married we live in Colo & he live in Cali. I am married my husband is her dad. My husband has been in her life since she was 7 months old. My ex has never helped out in any way to provide anything for her he keeps telling me I have always kept her away from him. When I did no such thing. He left the state with out telling me. I am afraid of her well being if he come's into her life. I am truly afraid I will never see her again if he steps back into our life. Not that I am a bad mom I am afraid he will take her away. I don't trust him he is very good at twisting things and manipulating people. Does he have any rights to her even though he is not on the birth certificate? And what can I do to protect her? What steps should I start to take?

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Stephen J. Plog

Answered 2 years ago

Unless parental rights have been terminated through an adoption or a social services custody case, your ex will have the potential to gain rights regarding your child until the child turns 18. Pursuant to Colorado statute, he has the right to start a paternity action, establish paternity (which can be proven through DNA testing), and to seek visitation or custody. A court will look at the facts and circumstances. Regardless of his past lack of participation, courts are full of second chances and put great value on each parent being involved. You can either try to deal with things on your own should your ex file a case. You can also contact an attorney.