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Father recently found out he has a child, wants rights to see the child

Your Question:
My son was three years old when the state ordered a dna test for paternity. I was unaware of his existence until that time and currently have no rights to him what so ever. I am interested in finding an affordable way to gain custody or at least visitation rights with my child. I have other children and am able to see them with no problem so it is not a question of me being fit. Please help me I do not have a large income but love my children and want to find a way to be part of his life. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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My Answer:

If the state has already found that you are the father, you can file the papers to seek visitation with him. It's not likely that you'll gain any custody anytime soon.

You'll lay out exactly what you just described... that you weren't aware you had a son until he was three years old, that the mother has refused to allow you access to bond with the child, that you're a responsible and caring father, and that you want orders to be a father to this child.

Unless the mother has evidence that you're a child molestor or violent drug dealer, you'll get orders to see your child on a regular basis.

That said, don't expect any great amount of time at first. You may only get once weekly, for several hours.

After six to twelve months, when everything is going okay, you may want to try to go back to court for more time. This is going to be a very long, slow process for you.

The first thing you'd want to do is find out if there is a family law help center in the courthouse in the county where the child lives. If so, they can help you select the correct forms.

Ideally, you'll be able to go to a court-sponsored mediator and work out something with the mother. If not, you'll need to appear in court.

Good luck.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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