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Never married father having difficulty seeing baby, recently filed in court; what are his chances?

Your Question:
My ex girlfriend and I broke up and two months later she found out she was pregnant. I know the baby is mine. I moved out but when found out she was pregnant, began paying half rent, gave her a car and all household appliances for support. We still are not together and my daughter is now 3 months old. I have been denied access to her on different occasions so I did file a paternity action and am fighting for 50/50 joint physical & legal custody. I have no history of violence or legal history. What are my chances of recieving joint custody??

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My Answer:

It sounds like you haven't read the page I provide called What You Must Know.

The primary rule in child custody outcomes is that whomever has actual physical custody at the start of litigation is most likely going to end up with it.

It's great if you're an awesome guy with responsibility and devotion for this child.

But the only way for you to significantly gain time with your child is if you can convince a court that there's something very wrong with the current arrangement that is harming the child's interest.

That's your starting place.

Chances of getting joint legal custody is high. That's pretty routine.

As far as a 50/50 schedule, you stand ZERO chance to get it unless you take the matter to court (i.e., assuming the mother won't agree to it). In court, your chances are above zero. It just depends on so many factors.

To understand those factors and to build as best a case as possible for your situation, you need to start reading. I have a page of Recommended Books. Also, I suggest you stop giving the mother any financial support that is greater than what the state requires. You're going to need that money, and it's not like she's showing any appreciation for it. Figure out, generally, what your child support should be for your state (i.e., there are online child support calculators that can help you estimate that). Each month, send the mother that amount, and clearly write "Child support payment" in the memo field. Her attorney will otherwise argue that while you gave the mother plenty of gifts, you haven't paid a dime in child support. And you can then be stuck with arrears, retroactive to the filing date of your action.

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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