What are my rights as an unmarried parent regarding custody and visitation of my child?
05/09/2007 - Category:Paternity - Parental Rights - State: GA #4322
I am an unmarried parent of a 2 year old girl. Her father and I were together for 4 years, engaged, but never married. We are split now. His name is on the birth certificate and child has his last name. Unknown if he is legitimizing her or not. As the Mother, do I have sole custody? Physical and Legal custody? We had set up a schedule for visits just between us (every other weekend he would have her), but I have found out he has been dropping child off at his 72 year old Mother's house, and he has left town for the weekend. (New girlfriend in another town). While I get along with his mother, it just concerns me that she has some physical disabilities and can't pick up my child out of the tub, or run after her if she is running towards the road. Besides, I thought the idea of visitation was for the FATHER to spend time with the child and build a relationship. I have also found out that the times I kept my child on "his" weekend, because he told me he was working, was a lie. He was really out of town with "a friend", and just did not want to spend time with his child. Since this is not a formal agreement by the court, can I demand that he be at his Mother's when the child is there, and he not be able to leave her alone with anyone? That HE spend time with her! He really has not cared about her since she was born and he doesn't spend any time with her. What would he have to do to get legal visitation? Doesn't he have to pursue it? Would he be able to get any kind of custody of her since we were not married? I thought the unmarried mother has sole custody? He is the one that moved in with me, in the house I own. He is the one that moved out in August 2006. I have taken care of child on my own since then. Child support is in the works, and scheduled to begin in June 2007, but Father has already stated several times to me, "you won't get a penny out of me". I just want to be know about custody and how I can be prepared if he tries to get legal custody or visitations. I am at the point of telling him to just come once a month to visit or not at all, since he is not concerned with building a relationship with his daughter. He has already introduced child to new girlfriend and states "its serious", as they have been going out for 6 weeks. Thus my concern about visitations and who he brings with him. Can certain stipulations apply to visitation? I just feel like I am on edge since I don't know if he will request legal visitation or not. What kind of power do I have to refuse him to take child, when I know he is just going to drop her off at his Mother's and he will leave town to do what he wants. He is very irresponsible. Again, I would never deny her going to her Grandmothers, but it should be supervised. And again, isn't this about the building of a Father and Daughter relationship? Please explain to me, my rights as an unmarried parent regarding custody and visitation.
Only the mother of a child born out of wedlock is entitled to his custody, unless the father legitimates him as provided in Code Section 19-7-22. Otherwise, the mother may exercise all parental power over the child.
Please see the information at the following link:
05/09/2007 - Category: Parental Rights - State: GA #4322
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