I am a soon-to-be father with my ex-girlfriend and she is not returning any of my phone calls or emails. I am already a father of a 4 year old boy and have a custody agreement in place with his mother where I have primary custody. Her lack of communication leads me to believe that she may try to keep me out of the childs life. I doubt that they would call me for the birth of the child in attempts to keep my name off of the birth certificate, as well and keeping me away from the child in general. My general concerns are, since I am a highly motivated father and want to be heavily involved with my soon-to-be child, what kind of rights do I have once the child is born. I have a feeling that this will go to court and will get messy so any tips that you could share would be helpful. I have a document started listing every attempt I have made to contact the mother, and will continue to update it. What else could I do to put myself in the upper hand to recieve majority custody of this child?
Here's my advice:
1. Get a vascectomy. No need to bring any other children into the mess that has been created.
2. Your documentation for contact during pregnancy is good, but only for countering when she accuses you of having disappeared during the pregnancy. The more important documentation will be any refusals she makes to let you see your child.
3. Keep tabs on the mother. Make sure you know where she lives. Try to find a third-party who would at least let you know when the child is born.
4. Have your paternity case all prepared and ready to file immediately after the child is born. The only ways you'll get majority custody of this infant is if you have evidence that the mother is unfit or if the mother agrees to it. No court is going to rip a newborn away from an unmarried mother after 2-3 months of bonding and caretaking (i.e., you may not go to court for 2-3 months after the birth) without good cause.
Ideally, you need to keep good relations with the mother and mediate a parenting plan that best serves the child. You've got a long, tough road ahead of you if the mother doesn't want you around.
If the mother is open to it, propose adoption as what may be best for this baby (and frankly, if the baby is adopted it'll be best for your 4-year old too, who doesn't need the years of chaos that are about to happen). It's a bad situation when a newborn has two parents already at war (regardless of reason).
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.