Marshfield, MO asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri

Q: Girlfriend signed an acknowledgement of her ex as father to her child, she now wants custody. What's the best approach?

They were never married. He lives out of state, she in Springfield. They currently have a 5 week alteration. From what I can tell it looks like she can just keep him and file for custody?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Lydia Seifner

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Springfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Yes, that is correct. Unless the parents are married when the child is born, mom has all the rights to the child until the father's rights are declared in court. Custody issues can be tricky so have the mother contact an attorney local to her to assist her in the matter.

1 user found this answer helpful

Christopher Fink

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Assuming he also signed the affidavit acknowledging paternity then there is a "presumption" of paternity with the ex. A "presumption of paternity" is not a declaration of paternity. A judicial determination of the father-child relationship must be established to determine each party's parental rights and obligations. As it stands, Father's rights at this time would be unenforceable. Most law enforcement agencies likely will tell either party that it is a "domestic matter" and won't get involved. It's probably in the child's best interest for her to file a Petition for Declaration of Paternity, Custody and Support in her county to get these issues resolved.

1 user found this answer helpful

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