is a Private Agreement for Visitation Going to Cause Problems?
- Child Custody
- State: AL #24838
I had a child with my boyfriend in Arizona. We broke up and I moved to Alabama with my child. Before leaving, I got his written consent to leave the state with our child. We had no money for a lawyer at the time. We also wrote out a visitation agreement of sorts and had witnesses (family) sign it. This was over three years ago. If we go to court, will I be in trouble for leaving Arizona, especially since they have such strong paternity rights laws? What hurdles and hardships might I face if I get a lawyer to make an official custody agreement? Thanks for your help.
The obvious cost of an attorney may be recouped if a support order is obtained. Until a custody/visitation/support court order is in place, a private agreement between the couple isn't enforceable through the contempt powers of the court.
A person must have "standing" to bring a paternity suit. While AL statutes allow a paternity action to be brought by an "interested party", this is generally a person who can prove a stake in the outcome, such as a person who may have custody or visitation rights. A relative is typically only allowed to file a paternity action when one of the parents is deceased and that relative is related to an representing the deceased parent. When paternity is proven, the court may order the biological father to pay child support. In AL, past support payments are limited to two years. Custody and visitation rights will also be made by the court when paternity is established.
When a man consents to having his name on a birth certificate, he is presumed to be the father. If a child has an acknowledged father, an individual, who didn't sign the acknowledgment of paternity and who seeks an adjudication of paternity of the child may maintain a proceeding at any time after the effective date of the acknowledgment if the court determines that it is in the best interest of the child.
Unmarried fathers have rights and duties similar to those of married fathers. For a father who wishes to establish that he is the biological parent, he can do so with relative ease of procedure. The father may believe that he has been unjustly denied knowledge of, or access to, children he may have fathered. This may occur following a contentious parting of ways between parents, and the mother wants no further involvement or contact with the father, and does not want the father involved in the child's life. In most states, a paternity action takes the form of a civil lawsuit, and is clearly not a criminal matter. Only certain persons or parties have legal standing to bring a paternity action, including the mother of the child; the mother of an expected child; a man alleging that he is the biological father of a child; a man alleging that he is the biological father of an expected child; the child; a personal representative of the child; the mother and father of a child (a voluntary action filed together); the mother and father of an expected child (a voluntary action filed together); a state social service agency, interceding in cases of child neglect or need; and a prosecutor's office, interceding in cases of child neglect or need.
The following is an AL statute:
SECTION 26-17-602. STANDING TO MAINTAIN PROCEEDING. Subject to Article 3
and Sections 26-17-607 and 26-17-609, a proceeding to adjudicate parentage
may be maintained by:
(1) the child;
(2) the mother of the child;
(3) a man whose paternity of the child is to be adjudicated;
(4) the Alabama Department of Human Resources;
(5) an authorized adoption agency or licensed child-placing agency
licensed in Alabama or any other state that is properly authorized to do
business in Alabama;
(6) a representative authorized by law to act for an individual who would
otherwise be entitled to maintain a proceeding but who is deceased,
incapacitated, or a minor; or
(7) any interested person.
Please see the information at the following links:
Please see the forms at the following link:
05/15/2011 - Category: Child Custody - State: AL #24838
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