The child in question is now 4 years old, and custody has never been established in court. He lives with his mother in Missouri, and we (the father, and me his stepmother) see him when she feels she wants us to see him. Right now the father is in the military and we are stationed in California. We currently have him for part of the summer. My question is: If custody has never been established in court, does the either parent have more custody right than the other. Does the mother have any more right to his custody than the father. If we filed for custody, would we have to file in Missouri or could we file in California? And the father is on the birth certificate, but the mother gave the child her last name, can the father have the child's last name changed to his?