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?
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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