Q: Can a judge grant child custody and visitation to a man who has never seen my child due to restraining order?
I had a child with a man who wanted to kill me and the child while I was pregnant. The child is 8yrs old and the man has never seen him due to restraining order from me and my child. The restraining order ended in 2017 and I never bothered to renew it because I moved and thought I won’t deal with him again. The man has never supported the child financially because I didn’t file any child support, I just wanted him to leave us alone. He never made any contact till Jan of this year. When I received a court noticed to appear in court for a hearing. I sent someone to go on my behalf and learned that he wants child custody, visit station and child support from me. Court is july, I’m scared out of my mind, do not want to deal with this man nor do I want my child to have anything to do with him. I am married now with other children and my child view my husband as his father. How do I Stop my ex from getting visitation and custody rights? Is it possible to file for abandonment? Please help me
A: Couple of things, first, do not send anyone to court for you other than a lawyer. A layman cannot represent your interests. Second, you need to sit down with a professional that handles family law cases in the court where the case is filed. Third, if you have not already done so you need to get your responses filed and make sure you attend the next court date.
Based on the facts as you recited them I would not think that a judge is going to throw open the door to contact between the father and your child, as long as you correctly present your case to the court.
The other thing you might consider is the chances of doing a step-parent adoption if you husband wishes to adopt the child. The fact scenario you set forth certainly appears you might be successful in such an action; asking the court to terminate the father's parental rights due to abandonment.
However, you really need to retain an attorney familiar with these type of case; representing yourself can get tricky.
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.