Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

This is a discussion on Unwed mother custody in Arkansas within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; Okay...Heres the issue...I am 18 and my child will be 2 weeks old on wednesday. The father of the baby ...

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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Okay...Heres the issue...I am 18 and my child will be 2 weeks old on wednesday. The father of the baby is 20 and he is on the birth certificate. We both still live with our parents and the original arrangement was that the baby would live with me and my parents and we even set a room up in the house for the father to stay if he wanted to stay the night with the baby. Well now him and his mother are trying to take the baby from me at night and are angry because i refuse to leave her. What kind of mother leaves her 2 week old baby? I just would not feel right leaving her. I havent left her during the day even much less at night. And besides that, I am breastfeeding and cannot pump enough for her to stay a whole night with out me. The mother has even went as far as stealing the breastmilk that i have already pumped and taking it to her house. So i guess my main question here is what are the custody laws for an unwed mother in arkansas when the father is on the birth certificate?
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

He must go to court and establish parental rights via either signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity or a DNA paternity test. Right now, you, as an unwed mother, have sole legal custody of the child. The father has no rights. The paternal grandparents especially have no rights.

Do not allow the grandparents into your home. If they are stealing, they should not be welcome in your home.

You do not have to allow the child to go anywhere with the presumed father. He must establish legal rights if he wishes to forge ahead and do the things you claim here.

Just because he's on the birth certificate, does not mean he has established LEGAL rights to the child. You are the only parent with custody. You have sole custody, and as such, you are the only person legally, with any authority over the child whatsoever.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Thanks for the reply. So if he signs the acknowledgement or has a test done since i am breastfeeding will the judge grant him any type of custody where he can take her with out me being there. I do not pump enough for her to be away from me that long.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

It is my understanding that in the State of Arkansas, as with most states, in order for the father to be named on the birth certificate, an Acknowledgement of Paternity must have been signed. Do you have copies of what was signed?

If the Acknowledgement of Paternity was signed then you need to establish a custody and visitation plan. This MUST be done legally. In some cases you may do it without the assistance of an attorney - check the courts to see if they have a self-help site or if they provide assistance or find an attorney.

As the PP stated do not allow the grandparents into your home and be very cautious with allowing access at this time to the father. If he has threatened to take the child and he has the Acknowledgement of Paternity, the police will see the issue as a custodial case and will advise you to go through the courts. They will not require him to return the child to you as you both have legal rights to the child. Again this is only the case if the Acknowledement of Paternity has been legally completed.

Custody and parenting plans for infants will normally favor the mother and especially in cases where the infant is being breastfed. Overnight visits are not recommended until the infant is much older. You can research sample plans by googling parenting plans for infants.

I do recommend you see an attorney immediately. Most will provide a free consultation so you can have an idea what you need to be concerned about. As stressful as the situation is, try to look to the best interests of the child. If his mother is trying to control this, you need to tell her, politely, to butt out. Remember, if something happens to you and he has the legal Acknowledgement of Paternity, he will have custody of the child and will determine who has access to the child.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Please try not to burden yourself with this worry while nursing. By the time he gets around to establishing legal parental rights, you will have probably stopped nursing, or, at the very least, the infant will be more than a few months old.

He will more than likely be granted some sort of visitation, but he might even be granted joint custody.

It's unusual that you do not pump enough. Do you mean you deliberately do not pump enough so that he can have her overnight, or your body does not produce enough milk? It is odd that you don't produce enough milk, but in that case, there is formula that he would be able to use.

It would not be a good idea to start this new parenthood out by trying to alienate father from his child.

Breast feeding is not considered by the court a viable excuse for the mother disallowing the father visitation, so it might be a good idea to have formula handy for backup. He has just as much right to bond with his child in the child's infancy as you do. In fact, it's just as essential for him to bond with the child in infancy as it is for the mother. It might be wise to go at parenting as two people who created a child together and now must share the child together.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

I must take issue with the specious belief that courts don't "favor overnight visits" and that the courts "favor mothers". This is a fallacy.

I had my infant niece in my care more so than her mother did, and the child bonded just fine with her father and her mother. People believe infants are like china and will break at the slightest provocation, but the fact of the matter is, infants need abundant nurturing from BOTH parents and even other family members who are nurturing.

This child is fully fine being away from the mother overnight. The child NEEDS and DESERVES bonding time with dad.

Don't be fooled by what some people say the courts "favor". It is simply erroneous in nature.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

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Please try not to burden yourself with this worry while nursing. By the time he gets around to establishing legal parental rights, you will have probably stopped nursing, or, at the very least, the infant will be more than a few months old.

He will more than likely be granted some sort of visitation, but he might even be granted joint custody.

It's unusual that you do not pump enough. Do you mean you deliberately do not pump enough so that he can have her overnight, or your body does not produce enough milk? It is odd that you don't produce enough milk, but in that case, there is formula that he would be able to use.

It would not be a good idea to start this new parenthood out by trying to alienate father from his child.

Breast feeding is not considered by the court a viable excuse for the mother disallowing the father visitation, so it might be a good idea to have formula handy for backup. He has just as much right to bond with his child in the child's infancy as you do. In fact, it's just as essential for him to bond with the child in infancy as it is for the mother. It might be wise to go at parenting as two people who created a child together and now must share the child together.

If i wanted to be preached to i would go to his house and listen to his mother. I was asking for legal advice not a lesson on what you think is morally right.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Ah, the claws come out. It was only a matter of time.

If you want purely legal advice, little girl, go to an attorney and PAY for it. Otherwise, expect that an open forum on a WORLDWIDE message board will have diverse responses. If you aren't grown up enough to handle those responses, don't air your dirty laundry for all the world to see.

Perhaps you should listen to your child's grandmother. Perhaps she could actually teach you the morals, values and boundaries your own parents so egregiously failed to teach you.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Im not going to stoop to your level and argue my life with someone who doesnt even know me over the internet. BTW i did talk to my lawyer yesterday. Thanks for the help anyways
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Unwed mother custody in Arkansas

Good idea. No sense making even a bigger fool of yourself by plastering your s******, irresponsible behavior on the internet for all the world to see.
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