Q: What can I do as a pregnant teen, if the father of my child wants to sue me for full custody of our unborn child?
His reasoning is because he doesn’t want our child around their grandfather who has some sort of dementia or something like that at the moment because it could get hostile, but I do not think that he would be able to manage taking care of a child and a job and many other responsibilities that he already has, I am still in school and am 17 years old, I would be able to take care of my child at any time since I do school from home, and could possibly get government assistance. But I don’t know where I stand in this situation and I can’t find anything online. Please help me out if you can, thank you! Edit- He is 19.
A: The first question that I have is how old is your boyfriend? There could be some criminal liability on his part. Each parent has a claim to custody of the child, but the court gives a lot of weight to the primary caretaker of the child. Obviously there is no primary caretaker at this point, as the child is not born. There are many factors that the court will take into account but ultimately will make a ruling that is "in the best interests of the child." Each party would show the court why they think that they should have custody of the child, and what the parenting time plan should be for the child to ensure that the child has contact with both parties. However, the initial question of whether a crime was committed needs to be answered.
No one can ask for custody of an unborn child. So that is not going to happen. Once the child is born AND the father is established as the legal father, ie paternity is proven, then either parent can file with the court to ask for custody. I think this man is just blowing smoke.
You can further protect yourself by not listing him on the birth certificate when your child is born. He has no rights unless and until he is proven to be the biological father. Get someone to be your advocate like a strong family member or better yet a lawyer. Seek out help from agencies or programs that help teenage mothers. Have your advocate firmly but politely tell this person that they are not welcome to contact you and that they are upsetting you. That you need to be a in a good mental and emotional state so you can have a healthy baby. That it is premature to plan the life of a baby that isn't born yet. You can even limit contact with the supposed father to when there is an advocate either in the same room or listening in on your phone calls the roll of the advocate is to cut the supposed father off when he starts upsetting you.
In my experience a court is extremely unlikely to remove a newborn child from it's mother's care and custody. The exception would be if the child is not being correctly cared for or is in an unsafe environment. So make plans to live in an environment where your newborn child will be safe. If your grandfather doesn't live with you the it is a non-issue. If your grandfather does live in the same household, then you do need to consider if that could be a risk factor.
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