If I’m the non-custodial parent that has not had contact with my daughter much but her mother has aboandond her, what are my rights?

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If I’m the non-custodial parent that has not had contact with my daughter much but her mother has aboandond her, what are my rights?

I just found out that her mother left her with the stepfather. My daughter actually lives diagonal to me but the stepfather said that if I stepped foot on the property he would shoot me. What legal right/obligation do I have if the mother really did this? Who should I call? I would like the chance to get to know my daughter and make sure she is taken care of. I pay child support every paycheck for her but I want more than that. My wife says she would be more than willing for us to take custody.

Asked on November 19, 2012 under Family Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You as the biological father have the same rights as the biological mother absent an agreement or court order stating otherwise. Courts try and foster relationships between children and their parents and all determinations are made "in the best interest of the child."  You seem to genuinely want a relationship with your child at this time so you should make a motion for custody and visitation or what ever you feel is warranted regardless of the Mother leaving the child with the step-father.  I would strongly advise seeking legal help given the step father's attitude.  Good luck.


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