I am the biological father of a 2 yr old resulting from a one-night fling. (Yes, I know, please hold the judgment) I recently was brought into court for a dna test, found to be the father and ordered to pay support, which I do, no problem. I do not want to be involved with the kid for various reasons. I have not met this child, other than seeing the kid at the dna appointment and that was for about 3 minutes. The mother and I did not speak, nothing. Anyway, I'm now finding out she filed custody papers. I already spent a bunch of money on the paternity filing for a lawyer to make sure everything was done right and lost 2 days off work for the testing date and court date to go over support. I am not interested in going back to court or paying more money - especially since the lawyer told me I was wrong for not wanting to be involved with the kid at all. I haven't been served yet but know it's been filed. And my address is listed as 'unknown' in the filing. She knows where I live, since I obviously got served for the support case. Anyway...IF I happen to get served, do I need to go to court? She knows I don't want custody or any visitation. I haven't had any contact. Or do I need a lawyer to address it ahead of time or contact her and say look he doesn't want any contact you can have sole custody? Any suggestions are appreciated.
2 Answers from Attorneys
You should not avoid what you already know is in process. It is your choice as to whether you do or do not want to be involved with the child. However, if you avoid or do not address legal process, then a warrant could issue as well as default on deficient or incorrect bases that you should have otherwise represented. You should strongly consider hiring an attorney.
You do not have to appear or contest the custody petition. It will just result in her getting what she asked for. If you are contacted by her attorney, you may be asked to agree to a consent order for custody so that the case can be concluded efficiently and expeditiously. Your support obligation will continue, unless she gets married and her husband seeks adoption.