What is the name of your state? Florida but child now lives in Pennsylvania
Ok, this is going to be long.
My now husband (stupidly) had a one night stand with this woman who I will call Jane. Well, Jane ended up having a child. He told Jane he did not want her to go through with the pregnancy. My husband was in the military at the time and got orders to go over seas for a 3 year tour. Jane had the child while he was stationed overseas. (The child is 3 1/2 now.) We left an atm card with my husbands mother and told Jane if and when she needed ANYTHING for the child just to let her know and she would get it for her. He told Jane that until paternity was proven he did not want to give her cash. Jane was still living at home with her mother who drank and drugs were done in the house. About 3 months after the child was born Jane called my husband and asked for $600 to fix her car. He told her there was no way he could give her the money but if she needed anything for the child let him know.
She refused any paternity testing and wanted to keep things out of the courts. However, because my husband was stationed in Germany they told him there wasn't anything legally he could do until he was back in the states. About one year ago Jane filed for child support and the courts began the ordering of paternity tests etc and sent my husband the paperwork. Then Jane up and left the state...did not inform him of where she was taking the child.
My husband is now out of the military and we have been living in Florida again (our legal place of residence) since January and the mother looked up our phone number and has been calling our house and hanging up. Her number is unlisted and we have no way to get in contact with her. My husband wants to relinquish his paternal rights but isn't sure if her boyfriend (and 3rd childs father) wants to adopt or not. My husband has not been allowed to see the child or know anything about his well being.
So, can he relinquish his rights and if so how? And if he can't how can we get joint custody of him? How is this going to work since we are in different states? We can't afford to travel there for court dates. Should we go and file for paternity tests and support etc before she does? What are our chances of actually being allowed to have the boy come here and stay with us at least part of the year? And, are we going to have to get a lawyer to get visitation? Is the father responsible for all the court costs if he wants visitation?