What right do I have as a child support paying father in conjunction with getting visitation with my daughter without a court order? I understand fully there needs to be a court order although in my state there is very little or no legal aid for child custody. Just to be honest I pay 500 a month in child support after that I have a seriously tight budget, paying thousands for an attorney is I'm sad to say completely out of the question. Why as a father do I not have any rights to see my daughter without an expensive court document????
1 Answer from Attorneys
Actually your understanding is common but incorrect. Without a court order, you and the mother each have absolute right to see the child. The problem is that is appears that the mother is not cooperating with you seeing the child. Arguably, if you had the child, you have equal access to her as does the mother. The problem in your case seems to be the potential conflict that arises when you want to take your child.
Unfortunately, a custody order is necessary. I will say that you should at least consult with several attorneys before you say it is too expensive. North Carolina is a joint custody state, meaning unless a Court determines that a parent is unfit, it will essentially award joint custody or visitation. Also, many legal aid offices offer a clinic to teach you how to fight for custody on your own. See if your local office offers this.