Q: My child’s father hasn’t seen her or paid child support in 2.5 years. We have no custody order. What do I need to do?
I would like to get sole custody and potentially go after child support but am afraid he will try and get custody of my daughter. Will he be able to get rights after not seeing her for 6+ months?
A: The answer to this question is that it depends. Generally speaking, a termination of parental rights is a very difficult task. From your question, it does not appear that you are seeking to terminate parental rights. However, short of a termination of parental rights, a parent will always have some rights. Based upon his absence, those rights may be less than they would otherwise be. However, he would likely be afforded some parent-time, probably with a schedule to build up to a normal parent-time schedule.
A custody fight is not something that should be done alone. Custody is very fact dependent and carries lasting consequences. You want to make sure that it is done correctly the first time. I highly recommend that you at least talk to an attorney about the specifics of your case before moving forward. You would benefit greatly from having representation throughout the entire case if you can afford an attorney.
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