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What happens if two people are not married and have a child together. And they break up...

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shortyhmm | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 28, 2010 at 7:03 AM via web

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What happens if two people are not married and have a child together. And they break up and the mother gets the baby. What can his parents do?

Can they fight for custody. What rights to the child to they have. Please give the answer in lamemans terms.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:32 AM (Answer #2)

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Fathers have rights too. If a man and a woman have a child they both have rights to that child. It would be illegal for a mother to not let the father see the child. The father could easily take the women to court. Who gets custody of the child of course depends on all of the circumstances surrounding the situation. If both parents are considered to be fit parents then I would assume that they would get joint custody with one of them being the custodial parent. The child lives primarily with the custodial parent but the other parent has specific times that they have the child as well.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:00 AM (Answer #3)

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Either parent may fight for custody at any time.  If custody has already been granted by a judge in the state where you and the mother live, the father should at least have visitation rights, unless a judge has for some reason ruled against that too.

To argue for custody, the father can provide evidence that he is better able to care for the child financially or physically.  Or, an argument could be made that the mother is unfit to care for a child financially, emotionally or physically.  This is generally harder to prove and is only awarded in extreme cases such as homelessness, drug abuse, violence, etc.

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shortyhmm | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 29, 2010 at 9:06 AM (Answer #4)

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I'm the person who wrote this. The father can come see the child anytime. I was wonder if his parents tried to take the baby what chances would they have. The reason why the father gave custody is because the mother is a great mother and agreed that the father can visit the child anytime as long as there is an hour notice.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted May 17, 2010 at 4:07 PM (Answer #5)

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The father's parents can petition the family court for visitation, if that's what they are seeking. How long were the couple together ??? Depending on where you live, your state may have common law rules. Some states recognize relationships of usually 10 years duration as being married at "common law". Even though they never walked down the aisle and made it official.  Nevertheless, you must go through the court and obtain a court order to get anything accomplished. That being said, you need to contact a family law attorney to do all this. This is always a sticky situation whether or not the couple was married or not.  Good luck.

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