Johnson City, TN asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Tennessee

Q: Unwed single mother, financially support my daughter since day 1, as every parent should.

Including Insurance, provide every day essentials alone, no help from the father other than an occasional few groceries once every 3 months. The father visits 2ce a week for 30 to 45 minutes as long as its works with his schedule and priorities. I document when he actually shows up and when he does not.He has requested to come on Saturdays when his mother gets the urge to make time to see our daughter, so I have rearranged our schedule and she doesn't show up after the fact. I do not ask for financial help nor does he offer. He recently got married but still lives with his mother. I provide a home with everything needed day to day for my daughter along with Daycare, doctor visits, etc.. He signed the acknowledgement form at the hospital and his name is on the Birth Certificate. What rights does he have, knowing he doesn't support her, nor involve himself more than 30 minutes 2 times a week when its convenient. Just trying to know the legality of the situation and educate myself.

2 Lawyer Answers
Marjorie A Bristol
Marjorie A Bristol
Answered
  • Goodlettsville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: The fact that he is on the birth certificate does not give him any rights to the child. Since you were never married, you are the sole custodian of the child unless or until a court says otherwise. You do not need to change your schedule. If he goes to court, he will likely be given time with her. If that happens, you should definitely contact an attorney to represent you.

Mr. William Ray Glasgow
Mr. William Ray Glasgow
Answered

A: Your question is what rights does he have. The answer is actually none until he goes to court and establishes them.

Please speak with at least a couple of good attorneys that practice extensively in this area of the law. The answers you need to hear cannot be answered in this forum. There are some attorney websites that have some easy to read and straightforward answers to your questions. Miles Mason, Memphisdivorce.com? comes to mind And know there is some degree of variation on how the law is applied in different counties.

Please contact someone who will share some experience with you, even if a small consultation fee is required. And have father do the same. You both have a duty to your child to get this started off on a positive track.

Good luck with your baby. Bet you're gonna be a great mom.

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