Kearney, NE asked in Family Law for Nebraska

Q: My child’s father has known about child since day one but refused to be in their life. Can they come back after 4 years?

They knew about the child from day one but didn’t want to step up! Now after 4 years they decided they are ready to be in said child’s life! No child support or Paternity test was done. Could they have any rights to said child?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie Fowler
Julie Fowler
  • Omaha, NE
  • Licensed in Nebraska

A: The statute of limitations to establish paternity is 4 years old for a private party but 18 years old for the State. Once the state brings a paternity action, then the father can ask for custody and parenting time. Thus, there are many cases where a father is granted parenting time (and sometimes even custody) when the father was not involved in the child's life until the child was older than 4 years old.

On the other hand, it is possible to have a parent's parental rights terminated due to abandonment. This is most commonly done when the parent wants to pursue a step-parent adoption action so that the child's step-parent can adopt the child.

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