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Never married father recently separated; can't see his toddler

Your Question:
my ex fiance and i have a 17 month old baby boy together, we split up and now she will not let me see my boy. we never got merried and i dont have any money right now, i have no clue what to do. any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you

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My Answer:

You need to file a paternity action with your local courthouse. See if your county's court offers a Family Law Help Center (or something similar). Call the information number for your local courthouse, and ask them that.

When you file a paternity action, it means that you're asking the court to recognize that you're the father of the child.

If the mother doesn't dispute that, the court will make orders for when each parent shall exercise custodial time with the child, and the court will make orders for child support.

If both you and the mother are fit parents, ask for joint physical and joint legal custody in the papers that you file with the court.

Beginning immediately, send the mother a daily email, asking to see your child. Keep her responses. You can use your emails as exhibits in court showing your attempt to have time with the child, and you can show her nasty responses (else note she ignored your requests).

If you have a problem with alcohol, drugs, violent crime, or significantly irresponsible behavior (e.g., partying all night several times per week), don't expect to get much from the court.

Once you file your papers, ask the mother to join you in mediation. If you can mediate a solution, that would be ideal.

It's critical that you act fast. When you're not seeing your child, every passing day is a disadvantage to you in court, because the mother is establishing herself as the primary caretaker with you as a marginal parent.

Get the book "Win Your Custody War" that I describe on my What You Must Have page.

Even with no money, there is a ton you can do on your own. It's going to be hard work to read about all of this and find out what to do. But if you're committed, and if you have the time to do it, you can have a positive impact on your situation and likely see steps in a better direction start to happen within a couple months.

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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