ANSWERS: 8
  • Get a paternity test done. If he's not the father, problem solved. If he is, you can duke it out in court, or you can flee the country, or you can get married and provide a more suitable home for the child. I wouldn't worry though. The courts typically side with the mother in most cases like these.
  • If you do not want this gentleman in your or the baby's life, do not put his name down as the father. That locks in his parental rights. Make him earn his parenthood if you want.
    • Hardcore Conservative
      His name on or off the birth certificate doesn't lock in parental rights.
  • Let him take any legal action he thinks appropriate. If you receive legal documents, then consult an attorney. Otherwise, I would not worry too much about it. Me thinks maybe-baby-daddy likes to talk big. Also, like the previous poster said, when the baby is born, put "unknown" for father's name. You do not have to report an 'alledged' father any more than you would report a sperm donor. Also, why does he even know where you are?
  • In addition to your opening question, you provided the following information: "I was served with legal papers yesterday, I am being sued for custody in CA even though I no longer reside in the state." I see three problems with the "alleged father" initiating a custody action in this matter with respect to JURISDICTION and RIPENESS and STANDING. JURISDICTION Because you live in TN and the alleged father of your unborn child lives in CA, this is an interstate custody dispute. Accordingly, we must refer to the federal Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), 28 USC Section 1738A, to determine which state has jurisdiction. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode28/usc_sec_28_00001738---A000-.html The PKPA provides that the child's HOME STATE has preferential jurisdiction to enter an original decree in a custody matter. Look at the definitions section of the federal statute: (1) “child” means a person under the age of eighteen; (3) “custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the custody of a child, and includes permanent and temporary orders, and initial orders and modifications (4) “home State” means the State in which, immediately preceding the time involved, the child lived with his parents, a parent, or a person acting as parent, for at least six consecutive months, and in the case of a child less than six months old, the State in which the child lived from birth with any of such persons. Periods of temporary absence of any of such persons are counted as part of the six-month or other period; THUS, if you are living in the State of TN at the time of the child's birth, the State of TN will have home state jurisdiction and a court in CA will not have jurisdiction to enter any custody decree over a child living in TN. RIPENESS Because the child at issue is a fetus (exists in utero) and has not yet been born, there is no person under the age of 18 in legal existence for whom the court may make a custody determination. This action is not yet RIPE (or ready) for litigation. The putative father must wait until the child is actually born alive before the matter of the child's custody will be ripe for adjudication. STANDING Generally, with respect to a child born out of wedlock, both mother and father have an equal right to custody of the child once maternity and paternity are positively established. By virtue of the mother giving birth, her maternity is positively established. However, the child's paternity must be affirmatively established by the father BEFORE he has standing to seek custody. He cannot put the cart before the horse. Paternity can be affirmatively established or disestablished by a DNA paternity test after the child is born. Inasmuch as the "alleged father" out in CA has not affirmatively established his paternity--and has no ability to do so until AFTER the child is born--he does not have standing to seek custody. THUS, you should seek the assistance of counsel to make a limited appearance on your behalf to motion the CA court to dismiss the CA custody action on the three grounds listed above--lack of jurisdiction, lack of ripeness, and lack of standing. In your motion, you should seek attorney fees and costs against the "alleged father" for filing a patently frivolous action against you. Once that motion is made, the CA court will likely have no other choice but to dismiss the action and award you your fees and costs.
  • In addition to my previous answer concerning the custody action, please review the memorandum located here: MEMORANDUM RE: JURISDICTION OVER AN IN UTERO CHILD http://www.hiltonhouse.com/articles/In_Utero_Jurisdiction.txt I have copied and pasted the Court's Statement of Decision below: COURT'S STATEMENT OF DECISION GRANTING THE MOTION TO DISMISS 075 The court duly heard the above matter and then rendered the following decision: 076 The above-entitled matter was heard in this Department on February 16, 1999, on Defendant's motion to "Dismiss Custody and Visitation Issues for Lack of Jurisdiction." The court heard arguments of counsel, and has considered the briefs and relevant authorities. 077 The matter is before the court on an action to determine the parent-child relationship under the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA).) On the same date that Plaintiff's complaint was filed a notice of motion for child custody,visitation, child support, attorney fees and costs was also filed. 078 Defendant is a Canadian national who has lived and worked in California for most of the past five years. Plaintiff is a U.S. citizen and a California resident. Plaintiff and defendant, who both work in California, began their relationship in July, 1996. As of the date of hearing, although there are no minor children of the relationship between plaintiff and defendant, defendant is about 7 months pregnant, ostensibly with plaintiff's child. 079 Custody and visitation of minor children in an action under the UPA are determined by the terms of Division 8 of the California Family Code, Sections 3000 to 3400. (Section 3021(f).) Although an action to determine the parent and child relationship under the UPA "may be brought before the birth of the child" (Section 7633), it is clear that a judgment or order under the UPA providing for custody or visitation "or any other matter in the best interest of the child" may be made only after birth, as the statute uses the term "child" (Section 7637). The court has subject matter jurisdiction to make orders for custody or visitation of a child, and/or for evaluation of those issues, only "during minority" (Section 3022), and "minority" is defined as "from the first minute of the day on which the individual is born to the same minute of the corresponding day completing the period of minority." (Section 6500.) 080 Likewise, both the terms of the UCCJA and cases decided under the UCCJA, make it clear that for purposes of determining child custody and visitation jurisdiction, as provided in 9 ULA 26 the Act addresses only minor children. Section 9 ULA 2(5) determines "home state" child custody subject matter jurisdiction [which] limits the statutory analysis to the period "from birth," (See, e,g., In re Marriage of Tonnessen (Ariz.App. Div. 2 1997) 189 Ariz. 225 (941 P,2d 237, 239.) As there is currently no minor child herein, there can be no "significant connection" jurisdiction under Section 9 ULA 3(a)(2). (See In re Marriage of Arnold (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 499; and Allison v. Superior Court of Los Angeles Cty. (1980) 99 Cal.App.3d 993, 998.) As there is no "child ... physically present in this state", the court does not have jurisdiction to make "emergency" child custody or visitation orders under Section 9 ULA 3(a)(3). Nor can does the court have jurisdiction to act "in the best interest of the child" under Section 9 ULA 3(a)(4), as there is now no minor child. 081 The motion to dismiss is therefore granted.
  • To: "Standing would only be defeated if this person was actually not the father." Not necessarily true. Mother in this case could defeat "alleged father's" standing to bring a paternity action simply by getting married to someone else before the child is born. Her husband would be the legally presumed father. "Alleged father" who merely had sexual intercourse with mother at a possible time of conception does not have standing to establish his own paternity if a presumed father exists. See CA Family Code Sec. 7630(c). Paternity must be affirmatively established before natural father has standing to seek custody.
  • in all fairness, if he's the father, he deserves to see the child. talk to him, see if you cant work something else. if he is the father and you put unknown on the birth certificate, i hope you can live with the knowledge that you denied a father and daughter the chance to get to know each other.
  • What's the case file number. This should prove interesting to monitor.

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