General Question

VzzBzz's avatar

Single parents with children out of wedlock, do you think courts and case workers look differently on child support/custody arrangements if the petitioner is the father versus the mother?

Asked by VzzBzz (2784points) April 4th, 2009

example: your son has gotten a woman pregnant, they have no intention of marrying or even being a couple- would you counsel your son to petition for his responsibilities rather than being served as the “resondent”?

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8 Answers

casheroo's avatar

I know, in some states (like SC, for example) if you have the child at least 14 days out of a month, you don’t have to pay child support. Are you asking if I’d want my son to petition for partial custody?
I’m not sure what you mean “petition for his responsibilities”?

I would want my child to be involved. I would want him to get partial custody, not to avoid child support, but to help raise his own child. I don’t care if he has no intention of marrying the girl, that means nothing to me. He does have to own up to his responsibility though. And I’d make sure we went to court, to settle the child support, so the girl couldn’t come back and claim my son didn’t pay…

ru2bz46's avatar

The mother seems to always get the upper hand in California. I’ve seen my friend get dragged through Hell trying to get custody of the daughter whom the mother kicked out. The mother got full custody, then turned around and gave her to the father after he had spent $150k on the battle.

jca's avatar

as a caseworker, i can tell you there is no official opinion. however my personal opinion and my coworkers would probably mostly agree with it, is that it’s unusual for the father to want full custody unless he’s wanting out of paying child support. any father who does pay anything in the way of support should do it through official channels, not just buying clothes or handing cash or other “off the books” payments. clothes and everything are great, but they don’t count toward child support.

VzzBzz's avatar

My question is more this: do you think the man looks more responsible if he takes the initiative to go to court and establish his parental rights rather than waiting to be served by the child’s mother which seems to be more typical.

casheroo's avatar

@VzzBzz I don’t work in that field, but in my opinion, I’d view the guy as smart. My friend was paying his ex girlfriend a lot in child support, not officially on the books though. She then got mad at him, went to court and said he hadn’t paid anything for years. He then went into Rears, and had his wages garnished for many years. It was awful.

tinyfaery's avatar

As a former case worker and counselor, I can say that in my experience social workers and the like just want to make sure that the child is safe and cared for. How this plays out in the courts is another story. Appearances play a huge part in the outcome of these issues.

The real question is, what kind of father does this guy want to be, one that does what is best for the child and everyone involved in the life of that child, or one that does what is best for himself? I would recommend trying to come to some agreement outside of the court. Perhaps attaining a mediator or counselor to facilitate the arrangements would be beneficial. Filing suit should be the last option.

VzzBzz's avatar

@jca: I’m not thinking about the details of the money or custody division as much as the impression or opinion of the man making the first move initially. What appears more responsible, to be the petitioner or the respondent? What would you tell a son of yours in this situation?

jca's avatar

i would tell him to petition if he’s able and willing to have custody. sometimes people are not prepared physically and emotionally for the responsibility of being a full time, (presumably) single parent. sometimes, also, the chld may be bonded to the mother and it will be traumatic to have to make other arrangements. i have a friend who told me about another friend where the court granted one week to one parent, one week to the other. they can’t get child care because no nursery is willing to do every other wee. what kind of life is that for the kid?

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