Custody with absent father.

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2009

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Jun 14, 2009Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Custody with absent father.

If the father of my child has been absent since birth, is it in my best interest to file paperwork to seek custody of my child?  Should I let him petition me first? I don’t want child support from him, all I want is custody.

Asked on June 14, 2009 under Family Law, California


Oksana Van Rooy, Attorney at Law / Law Offices of Oksana Van Rooy

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the child's age and on the father. If it has been a long time since your child was born and the father has never been interested in seeing the child, I would not worry about filing paperwork to seek custody of your child. Right now, you have 100% custody. If you don't file any papers, it will most likely continue in the same manner for many years, maybe forever. However, if you file paperwork, he might object and then the court would give him some percentage of custody.

The later he files for custody, the better for you. The courts in CA are usually reluctant to change the child's circumstances too much. So, if the child has been only with you for many years, it would be very unlikely that the father would get a lot of custody even if he wanted to.

However, you should not be thinking only about yourself in considering this question. It is presumed that it is in the child's best interest to have “frequent and continuing contact with both parents." Even though you might not think so now, it probably still would be very beneficial for your child to have at least some contact with the father (unless the circumstances clearly state otherwise.) So, towards this goal, you might want to encourage the contact with the father.

Also, unless the father is unemployed, I think you should go for child support. Your child has the right to be cared for by both parents, not by you alone, and you should not deprive your child of this right. Don't forget, of course, that if you apply for a child support, custody question will come up inevitably (which is not necessarily a bad thing, as I described above.)


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption