If my girlfriend left me and my child today, what do I do to ensure that she doesn’t change her mind and try to take my daughter back from me?

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If my girlfriend left me and my child today, what do I do to ensure that she doesn’t change her mind and try to take my daughter back from me?

She gave me all my child’s records her SSI card, medical card and immunization records, and told me that I can keep her. My name is on the birth certificate and we have been living as a family with me supporting them since before my daughter was born.

Asked on November 11, 2012 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Right now, you would both have equal access to the child because there are no court orders in place to limit the access of either parent.  You need to file a paternity suit, have yourself officially declared "dad", and request the court to give you primary custody.  Once you have a final order in place, she can't just re-enter your lives and take the child if/when she changes her mind about parenthood. You are not required to have an attorney for this process, but it will go much more smoothly if you have a family law attorney to help you.   If you cannot afford an attorney, research legal services in your area that provide free or reduced rates legal services.


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