Boy meets Girl, Boy and Girl have sex, Girl get’s pregnant. Girl decides against abortion or adoption. Boy has no interest in marrying/cohabitating with Girl or raising child. Boy is however willing to pay child support. Could Girl get the courts to impose joint-custody on Boy? Or force visitation? As long as Boy is paying child support as ordered can he be forced to have further involvement?
Forcing child visitation by an unwilling person (assuming some responsible person has primary custody) would seem to be so pointless and counter productive on so many levels I can’t imagine why someone would even try.
The only possible scenario I can see where woman would try to do this is if:
1: The man is a fundamentally a good person, but feels he has been badly played by the mother, and it’s the mother he is avoiding more than the child.
2: The woman is convinced that once he sees the kid he will be overcome with fatherly feeling and will bond with the child.
3: She is trying to have a ongoing relationship with the father
The court usually (read 99%) of the time doesn’t set structured visitation in paternity orders - at least here in Minnesota. If the father doesn’t want anything to do with the child the court would grant the mother full legal and physical custody and that would be that. They do not force it. If the parties DO want visitation addressed, the court would.
Once the order is established if one of the parties changes his/her mind, they would need to file a motion for a new hearing in district court (child support, once it’s set, is heard in a magistrates court). More often than not the parties, despite what the court orders, work things out between themselves without court action.
FWIW, the police departments have other things to do than enforce visitation. If a case gets to that point (and I would say maybe 2% of my 350 cases get this way) it has nothing to do with the child and everything to do with the parents.
In child custody/support cases, presumably the court is trying to look after the best interest of the child. Why on earth would they force a child to see an unwilling and disinterested parent? It would be downright cruel and possibly dangerous.
I can’t even believe this question was asked.
I’ve been on the Straight Dope board only a little while, but it’s clear to me so far … everything gets asked. And normal questions more than once.
Well yes, but I am cranky and therefore wish to point out that if some people just thought about their questions with both brain cells, they may be able to puzzle some of them out on their own.
I apologize for being bitchy but sheesh.
I don’t think it’s too weird of a question to ask. I’m sure there are/were/have been cases exactly like this.
This hypothetical is far too common.
Are you going to apologize for your little brain cell comment? :rolleyes:
This is personal anecdote and not law so I don’t know how useful it is, but the situation described in the OP was my parent’s relationship. My father faithfully paid child support every month until the day I turned 18. I never saw him once after I was four. I snooped into my mom’s files and read the divorce papers where it laid out the visitation rights, which said he was to have me every other weekend and assorted holidays (the usual, I gather). I am pretty sure that as long as he paid, there was no legal action to be had.
I think if he had wanted to see me and my mother wouldn’t let him, that would be cause for legal action, but like the others said, I doubt they’d force a parent to see a child.
Forced visitation between a child that doesn’t want to see a parent, sure, but a parent that doesn’t want to see a child? I’ll have to ask for a cite.
No. I didn’t say you had a little brain cell, I said that some people only have two to rub together.
And I won’t apologize for that either.
It’ll take me a while to come up with a cite, but many jurisdictions recognize a *child’s *right to visit. So the kid, through mom, can probably get an order requiring some visits.
Hi there, Duck Lips. This ain’t your old board. We tend to try to keep down the noise/info level in General Questions.
Please don’t insult posters outside of the BBQ Pit.
This isn’t a formal warning. Just information for anyone who reads it.
samclem. Moderator, General Questions
If one parent has no involvement, it’s more likely they will lose the right than be forced to be involved. Say the father expresses interest and gets “every other weekend” but really only sees the kid on Christmas. The mother can go to court with a reason to cut back visitation (and the fact that he’s practically a stranger is enough a reason), and dad has no argument against it because he’s not exercising it anyway. The mother would get sole custody and could let the father see the kid (or not) whenever she wanted.
It sounds like the original question skips all that and goes straight to mom getting sole custody, but I wanted to illustrate that they would take away instead of force time with the kid.
It also becomes possible to terminate their parental rights and have the child adopted by a step-parent (assuming the mother in this case gets married and her and the hubby wanted to do this). Dad can fight it, but whats he gonna say? Being uninvolved from the start is a good way to lose everything forever.
Gotcha. Please don’t call me Duck Lips; that term of endearment is reserved for my husband.
Nothing personal. (Except you once “snerked!” at something geekish I said. I can’t find it, but it annoyed me at the time. You were the cool one. I was a noob. Strange, the things one remembers.)
BTW, you’re still one of the cool ones. I’m still a geek. And so it goes…