Carthage, MS asked in Child Custody for Mississippi

Q: Does a 16 year old father have rights to his child

I got pregnant by a 15 year old when I was 17 and he turned 16 and I turned 18 before the baby was born. His mother thinks she has rights to our child because he is a minor and is asking for joint custody. What rights and responsibilities does he have being a minor, what rights does she have and what rights do I have?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
Melissa L Gardner-Ardoin
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Olive Branch, MS
  • Licensed in Mississippi

A: You and the father have the same rights and responsibilities as any other parent. However, it is going to be complicated by the fact that he is a minor due to his dependence on his parents for financial support, food, shelter, as well as his disability of minority. However, this does not give his mother any rights to the child. She can petition the court for custody and will prevail if she can show that you and/or the father are deficient in some way thereby placing the child in need of protection. Unless there is some overwhelming need for it, I would strongly advise against an agreement to give her joint custody, That will grant her rights that she does not now have, and it will be extremely difficult to take away down the road. In other words, you will be stuck with her, her demands, her opinions, and constant threats to take physical custody and total control of the child.

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