Legal Question in Family Law in California

My daughter dated this guy for 3 mths. and had a baby. Father deceided to leave. Baby was born. Father did sign the birth cert. In the beginning he was visiting the baby here and there. The baby is only 1yrs old. He was asking for overnights. She was trying to work out a schedule. They just started this over night for 2 nights every other week. but the last week he had his daughter he wanted more and then threated to keep her. This has not been the first time he threaten to keep her. Since my daughter lives with me and her baby - my granddaughter. I am concern. We did notice - regarding the baby a change in additude - when we got her back from the overnights she was very quited and cleging - for a few days. Which she was never like that at all. Nothing has been submitted to the courts. Since this last episode with the fathers threats. My daughter has not may any arangements for the father to see his daughter overnights. He does not pay anything and has not ask to visit her. Its has been over two and one half months since she visited with the father. Does the father have a right to just take the baby even if the baby is at daycare? This is one of his threats. My daughter works and supports her baby. My daughter has been trying to work with him - they just argue. Should my daughter file legal sole custody for her child / since he has made these threats. Or what do you suggest she do. Thanks from a concern g-parent.

Asked on 1/11/13, 2:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Your daughter needs to get this into court. That does not mean it has to be decided by the courts; in fact the court will require mediation and other efforts to reach an agreement between the parents on custody and support before the court will even have a hearing on it. The reason to start the court process, however, is two fold. 1. It gets things started to get a proper formal parenting plan agreed on; and 2. once a plan is agreed on, it will be made a court order that can be enforced by the courts and police should it become necessary, and prevent him from carrying out any threatened action.

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Answered on 1/11/13, 4:30 pm

Brian McGinity McGinity Law Office

I agree with Mr. McCormick completely. This really needs to get into court. Your daughter will have a lot more protection when there is a court order in place. When there is no order in place he has as much right to the child as the mother and if he is on the birth certificate then he is recognized as the father. I would suggest that you and your daughter start reading about the process on the web. There is some excellent self-help information out there. I would also suggest a visit to local family law facilitators office for information. Each California county family law court house has a family law facilitators office in it. Some will help more than others. They are an excellent resource and generally very helpful. Basically you want to get a custody and visitation order in place. However, as Mr. McCormick said you will first have to go to mediation to attempt to reach an agreement. You may want to schedule a consultation with a private family law attorney to explore the cost and the options you have available to you. Generally an initial consultation with a family law attorney will not cost too much. We offer a free half hour initial consultation and I know a lot of attorneys that do the same thing.

Good luck

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Answered on 1/11/13, 7:16 pm

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