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  1. #1
    vaportrail Guest

    Question Child custody when not married

    I need some advice regarding what my rights are as far as filing for custody of my daughter and if I would be allowed to file for custody never being married. Here’s the situation: My girlfriend and I have never been married and we had a child when we lived together in Ohio (where our baby was born). However, a month ago I moved to my home state of North Carolina to accept a job offer with the intentions of moving my girlfriend, her 6 year old son from a previous marriage, and the baby down here to NC once I got settled. Well, now I’ve decided not to continue my relationship with my girlfriend. My question is.....what legal right do I have to my daughter (who is now 8 months old) whom I haven’t seen in a month and is still living with my girlfriend in Ohio? Would I be able to file for custody of her? My girlfriend seems to think she has what’s known as “legal guardianship” and I would never be able to have custody of her nor would I have any visitation rights living so far away. The reason I’m asking is because I know my 8-month old daughter would have a better living with me here in NC and can grow up in a much better environment. I have an excellent job here in NC, make very good money, work hard, and love and support my daughter to the max. In the meantime, all my girlfriend is doing is living off of Welfare and doesn’t ever intend to get a job. Her 6 year old son is also developmentally disabled and has hurt my daughter a few times since I moved away. My girlfriend has told me several times since I moved away that she has had difficulty taking care of both kids at the same time and I have even been on the phone with her several times while she’s been upstairs and has left the baby alone downstairs while the baby is crying. What do the courts take into consideration for situations like this? How would all of this come into play for seeking custody of my daughter and would I be allowed to use any e-mails or recorded phone calls that I’ve saved against her in court? Also, would I be able to file here in North Carolina or would I have to file in Ohio? And if I don’t get custody of my daughter, what types of visitation do the courts allow for being this far away and not being married? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    nookey Guest
    You can file for custody, but it has to be in Ohio since that is where your daughter has resided for at least 6 months. the court takes into account what would be in the best interest of the child in deciding who gets custody. unless you have actually went through the courts for any custody issues before, then it hasn't been formally estabilished (i believe). if anything else, you do have the right to visitation even with the distance between you. if you are serious about wanting custody of your daughter then i would recommend contacting an attorney (licensed in Ohio) and start the process.

    Nookey- i'm not an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    We're in Ohio too, and apparently if a couple is not married, the mother automatically has custody of the child. The father would have to petition the court for some sort of custody, either joint or sole or any variation of those.
    All you can do is file for custody and see how it goes. Probably a good idea to establish paternity (unless you signed the birth certificate, then it's not needed) and contact the Child Support Enforcement agency. If she is on welfare you will likely have to pay that back to the government. But you need to start paying, that will look better for you in court than being in arrears.
    Good luck.

  4. #4
    newgirlfriend Guest
    My boyfriend filed for full custody of his 4 month old daughter. The only way that they will take your daughter away is if the mother is proven unfit. Every time that you speak with her and she makes comments about caring for the children, document it. I speak from experience, documents go along way! The best interest of the child is always the intentions of the courts, and if you are the father then you should get some visitaton, at least summer. THis is an old thread so as anything new happened?

  5. #5
    Yas Guest
    I am interested to see what happens.....have you filed for custody yet? Have you found out if you have a chance at custody?

  6. #6
    vaportrail Guest
    As of now, I'm sort of stalling with giving my girlfriend the axe. The reason is because I want to be able to sit down and talk with an attorney first to find out all of my options. I already know that once I tell my girlfriend it's finally over between us then she'll go immediately to the courthouse as well as her attorney. So I want to be well prepared. My girlfriend is also very money hungry! I know she will be after every single dime I have when it comes to child support and I hear the courts are tough in Ohio when it comes to child support and they literally take away half of your salary. Is that true? All I know is that I'm trying to prepare for one h*ll of a messy situation legally. Iwould appreciate as much advice as possible. I'm not the type that will run away from my responsibilties. I just want to know how to handle someone who cares about money rather than letting me establish a relationship with my child. She's already asking me "When are you going to start sending me money?" I swear all the freak cares about is money, money, money!!!

  7. #7
    helen2602 Guest
    i have been through this situation personally. i was not married yada yada yada. thought i had custody of the child until ex took me to court for custody.when he first took her out of state and i called police i found out that neither of us had custody because it had never been established in court. there was nothing that they could do.the only reason i got my daughter back without having to prove that i was fit is because it was not filed in the right jursidicion(sp). i lived in ga he lived in fl.he tried to file in our home state of ny where neither of us had resided in over 6 months.you have every right to take your daughter to your home minus the mother. that is a little unknown fact that many mothers do not know.

  8. #8
    newgirlfriend Guest
    My BF filed for custody after his ex left the state with the child and would not return any of his calls. When he called the police and DSS they told him that he had no rights since his name was not on the birth certificate. He then retained a lawyer and when the mom got back in town, his lawyer told my BF that he could go to her house while she was at work and take the baby and not giver her back until court. He didnot of course b/c he figured that would make him no better than her. You mentioned that she has already made comments about not being able to handle it? My ex does not have her baby sitter anymore and has been calling my BF friends to babysit. He told everyone to turn down her offer becuase he wants her to sweat it out. She told him on Sun that she did not know what to do. THis is the same girl who claims that she does not need him and that she can get along fine without him so he wants her to sweat if out and mess up one good time by putting his daughter in some shady babysitter's hands. (She is a stripper and she can not find anyone to work those hours for her) My BF offered to babysit while she was at work to spend more time with her put her lawyer shot down his request and the judge agreed. And she is money hungry too. One thing that my boyfriend is focusing on in trying to get custody is his living situation. He lives in his own home a block from a nice elementary school that his mother teaches at. His business is only 3 miles away from his home and the school where she would go to elementary school. HE is focusing on looking out for their daughters best interest in the future. Also, they look at things like how many times she has moved, relationships that they are involved in. they do not want some one who is in and out of a childs life ( new Bf and GF) Basically, if you really think that you can give ya'lls daughter a better future than her mother, try to work something out with her. As you probably know from these threads it is never that easy, and it is just a power trip to some of the fathers and mothers in who gets to keep the baby. Document every thing that you guys talk about whether it seems relevant or not because you can always go back and find small things that will help. Are you getting any visitaiton now? Also, send money because if you don't she will just ask for back child support when you go to court and you will have to pay her anyway. Build some foundation before you go to court. Have something to focus on. Alot of people are going to tell you do not fight it, the mother always wins and that is true in many cases, but my BF thinking is "If he lays down he will get walked on" So he keeps his guns loaded. Don't let anyone discourage you that you can not get custody of your daughter. If you really are the best parent and you really are concerned about her best interest and future then you will always have a chance.

    Good Luck

  9. #9
    helen2602 Guest
    see same thing did not happen with me and no her father is not listed on her birth certificate.he lived in fl i lived in ga. i took my daughter to visit him for a month.it had been a while since he had seen her and i was trying to be nice.he took her to ny and filed for custody. i called the fbi and they couldn't do anything because neither of us had custody.i was under the impression i had custody because she lived with me and because he paid no child support,etc. i went to ny and went to the police station was told they could not give me my child because i had no court order saying i had custody. we went to court,i did not have a lawyer he did. my child was not returned to me until 2 weeks later when we went to court and the judge found he had no jurisdiction.so in some cases it does happen where legally you can take the child and the mom has to go to court to get the child back.

  10. #10
    Yas Guest
    Hi New Girlfriend :-)

    Well, this doesnt really help anyone, but you know what happened to me last week, neither of us had custody, my ex just took the child a few months ago and would not let me see her, so my lawyer told me that I could equally take her and not let the dad see her. Well, when this happened last week, he went so crazy, and this is the bit I don't get...he showed up at my house with 2 police officers and a court order saying I must "return" the baby to him right now!!!

    I was beside my self, esp as the baby was sleeping in my arms at the time, see he does not care about the child's best interests (she is 15 mo) he just wants her, so damn he will GET her (like you say, New GF, it is a power thing for him). I just dont get why HE never had to return her to ME, yet I, as the mum, had to!!!

  11. #11
    newgirlfriend Guest
    Hey guys,

    I am really sorry that ya'll have to go through that. Even though I am just outside looking in, it seems that the ones that play by the books and try to do things right are the ones who get screwed.

    Good luck!

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