Child Custody (Unwed Mother) and Breastfeeding in Colorado

Updated on February 06, 2012
B.B. asks from Pueblo, CO
23 answers

I am a single, unwed, pregnant soon to be mama. It was a drunken one night stand. I told him I was pregnant. We tried dating, he didn't talk to me for 2 weeks then proceeded to date another woman for four months after that. It got to the point that he was mentioning the child living with him and his girl friend.Then she dumped him, tried to get back with me. I said let's try it, then he ignored me again for another 2-3 weeks. I usually let him know everything, gave him chance after chance to be involved. Then after a lot of being stood up, ignored, and ordered around, I stopped contact with him. Now, he is threatening to go to court if I don't name his son after him and he doesn't get a choice in the first name. I plan to breastfeed till around 1 year of age, and I offered to let him have visitation for 2 hours 3 times a week. He said he wants to take my child for three hours (unsupervised) every M W F or two hours every day. He works 12 hour days, so sometimes he doesn't get off work till 7 or 8 at night. My school is 1130-1245, he is still at work till at least 5-6. I am completely open to him visiting me but since I am breastfeeding and want my son on a set schedule, I don't want the father to take him away for that long. But the father says I can pump, so being away from him should be no problem. I also would like to not take my son anywhere for the first month because he is being born in the flu and cold season, but the father says he wants to be able to take him anywhere he deems fit. He is active army. He is being kicked out of the Army because he can't sleep properly (a severe form of sleep apnea) He refuses to ever see things my way and wants the child so when he gets kicked out, he gets more money from retirement.

My question is, can he take the child away from me while I'm breastfeeding and my son is on a set schedule?

To answer a few questions, I am completely willing to let him visit, just not take the child. I have never asked him for any money concerning the child and have paid for everything (every copay, gestational diabetes counseling and all that, every medication for the pregnancy). I am a veteran and currently, in the reserves. I have a steady income, my own house, I go to college, and would only be away from my child for two hours every m w f for school, other than that, I have no plans on leaving my child. I have many friends and family here to support me and he has no one (but army buddies I imagine) all of his family are either in Texas or Ohio. He has even tried to order me to take my son to his parents house in Ohio or move to Texas with him, when I told him no, he said he already talked to doctors about it and they said it was fine.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Contacted a family law attorney. He told me to not put his name on the birth certificate, give the baby my last name, and when asked to deny it is his. Which makes him have to request a DNA test. He would then have to jump through more hoops to get the court to serve me papers. The first hearing wouldn't be till around 2-3 months after the baby's birth. When he asks for temporary visitation that is when I ask for temporary child support. (Please note that if I could just have him out of my life, I could care less about child support). My attorney doesn't believe a judge would separate a newborn and its mother, but if I happened to find that one judge that would, he said maybe a couple hours on Sat or Sun.

Now with that in mind, the father said he went to an attorney yesterday and his attorney said he could get the baby to himself for several hours a day every other day as early as two months and he would use formula if the baby got hungry. He doesn't know I have my own house with two bedrooms, so one of the fathers arguments was that I didn't have adequate room for the baby. (Lol) So he said all in all, he stood equal ground in courts. I didn't reply to that email. Then about an hour later he texted me with a revised parenting plan that said he would be able to take my baby on "his" weekends after one month, but for the first month he would come to my house and see him there. I know for a fact there is no way a judge would let a 2 month old leave the mother, maybe a 3 or 4 month old but not a barely 2 month old. So, as my attorney told me to do, I didn't agree. My attorney said agree to nothing outside the court. So that is what is happening now. I am ignoring him, not gonna put his name on the birth cert, and wait for him to serve his papers. But while I wait, the attorney and I are getting my papers in line. :)

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I'm totally not an expert on this...If you don't put his name on the birth certificate, wouldn't he have to hire and attorney to do paternity, visitation, etc? He doesn't sound like the type of guy willing to spend the time and money to do that. Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

get an attorney. It sounds like he is trying to upset you. Don't let him. I know that's easier said than done. but take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Hire an attorney and make sure you get child support and visitation set up...don't let him ram-rod you and don't let him bully you.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Well first off he is asking for time on M W F...and you have school and will be away from the baby on M W F? Sounds like perfect daycare to me!

Secondly, get a lawyer and get a scheduled parenting plan..everything in black and white and an order for child support.

I am a firm believer in father's rights and I do believe that the child should have his Father's last name regardless if you guys are still together. Try to look on the bright-side that he wants to be in his child's life...but get all your ducks in a row as far as all the legal stuff is concerned!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

First, you are the mother and you can decide what the name will be for your child. Second, you do not have to put him on the birth certificate and I'm not sure you should. Also, I would give the baby my last name since you and the dad aren't married.

He is trying to bully you into doing what he wants. I would not contact him when you go into labor. I would be concerned as to how he would behave.

I would also contact an attorney to see what your rights are. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

He will initially have no rights at all as he would have to take you to court and file for paternity (assuming that you don't allow him to be at the birth, don't allow him to sign the birth certificate and don't allow him to sign the paternity form that legally establishes paternity - refusing these things is all within your rights). Once he files for paternity, that will open up a whole can of worms regarding child support, custody and visitation. All of this takes time - he will have to file a motion or complaint to establish paternity, you will have to be served, the court will need a return of service to prove you were served, then they will set a date to review the motion or hear the complaint. All of this takes months. Once you get served, you would call your state's child support enforcement agency and they would take over, sending you paperwork, him paperwork, receiving the paperwork, assigning one of their attorneys, notifying him or his attorney (if he has one), scheduling a date, etc. I filed for child support 10 days after my son was born and it took 8 months to get to court, so the slow wheels of justice will work in your favor. By the time you get to court to establish paternity, decide on a visitation schedule, child support, health insurance etc. your baby will be older. At that point, a judge may very well decide that the father can have overnight visits or visits longer than a couple of hours and if you have to, you can pump and your baby will be fine (moms who use childcare pump every day and still breastfeed when they are with their babies). up on the laws in your state - all of this info is available on-line. You don't have to worry about anything right now. Let him talk all he wants...nothing he is saying will apply right after the baby is born so don't let him bully you or stress you out. You focus on your and your baby and deal with his requests in court if/when you have to.

@ Cheryl B you can't go to court to do paternity, support and visitation for an unborn child. There is nothing that she or he can do until the baby is born. The only time pre-birth orders go into effect is in states that recognize surrogacy and in the case of adoption, and in many states even in those instances, not a piece of paperwork can be filed until the child is actually born.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You need a family law attorney, pronto.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He is the father and with out a court order you have nothing. You can, however as an unwed mother NOT put him on the birth cirtificate but then he will be held responsible for NOTHING so it is time you sought legal council now and find out your options.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

1) he cannot order you to give your son his last name - that is your choice, and personally I gave all my children MY birth name - both with my child as a Single Mother and as a Married Mother.

2) Breastfeeding will make it harder for HIM to get court appointed time away from you - and you must be assertive and insistent about not wanting the child far from you, especially the first year.

3) If he takes you to court, it will probably hurt him more, because then they will also discuss court ordered child support.

4) He's been flaky and downright rude to you... you don't need to give him ANYTHING. I'd stop communicating with him at all, especially about your pregnancy and baby.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

You absolutely must get an attorney and legally sort out custody in court. If you do not, then you are in for more hell than you can imagine! YES, he does have rights as a father. However, in most states, the birth certificate name will be whatever you as the birth mother puts on it.

You CAN pump and send the breastmilk with him. The hours he's asking don't sound too out of bounds, so you may expect a judge to give him that. Perhaps you could work something out in mediation about him having the child for more time on fewer days or something. It is common practice and advice of pediatricians not to take the child out in the first 6 weeks, so you do have a leg to stand on there. You may need to let the father come visit his child though. If he wants to be a part of his child's life (and it's actually good if he does and can be a good father), then you're going to have to get used to not having the baby and then child on the exact same schedule all the time. As long as you send breastmilk or formula with your infant, it should be fine. The baby will get hungry when he's hungry, and he will have to be fed regardless of anyone's schedule.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

You need an attorney, only a judge can answer this because every judge rules differently.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Right now all he's doing is making threats. I will tell you first hand in MO if you give the child the fathers last name ( not being married). Then who ever has the child has physical coustody until courts decide. I would give your child your surname. If the father really wants his name on the Birth certificate then let him go to Court to have it added on. Then while in court the Judge will order him to pay child support and maybe even his half of the costs you pd. while pregnant. I would contact a lawyer TODAY. If he really cared about his child, he would have been in it from the start. He dosn't have to have a relationship with you but he is already demonstrating lack of concern for his unborn child. Could you support the baby all on your own? If so when he's born put your name on the certificate only. He would then have to prove he's the father. Put the burdeon of proof on him, I bet he'll back off if he sees you won't be frightened by him. As far as Ohio, Grandparents can come to the baby, BABY dosn't go to them. Stand firm with this guy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

It really depends on your Judge. Since you are unwed, if he never bothers to take you to court you don't have to agree to any visitation. Do you think he will be a good caretaker of his child? If he wants to be involved and will care for his child, I think you should consider allowing for greater visitation at the 6 month mark (at which point you can pump). Just my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

You both need attorneys and you are both parents-to-be. I don't know the laws in CO but I have known lots of fathers who were very involved in custody early on. You have a long way to go as parents together...I hope you can make it work best for your child.

Added - It is really sad you both are doing this and the kid isn't even born yet! A paternity test is not that difficult to get. He will get visitation, even if you say it is at three that going to make you any happier. I don't think so. Kids do better with both loving parents in their life even if they are not together. You have a long road ahead of you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

You need legal help to get a FORMAL custody agreement. With all the conflict happening before the baby is even born, I think it is really important to get everything legal and formal, not just a casual verbal agreement between the two of you. I would worry about the father kidnapping the baby to be honest, not because he really wants the baby, but as a way to exert power over you and the baby and as a way to hurt you if you don't let him have his way. It is very troubling that the father doesn’t seem to care about what is best for the baby’s health (breastfeeding and keeping baby away from foreign germs in the first weeks) since it interferes with his plans. Best of luck to you and your baby!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Okay, so it's already started and you haven't given birth. Learn an early lesson from this and have paternity established, custody and visitation orders in place when this baby arrives.

You can file a Petition to Establish Paternity and the custody and child support matters will flow from that. Since he is not contesting paternity, I don't know that you'll need a DNA test.

Since the baby will be breastfeeding, I think he will have a hard time getting a judge to let him take the baby for the longer periods of time at first. The judges are supposed to make their orders in the best interests of the child, not the parents so it seems to me that the best interests of the child are to be breastfed, if possible, for as long as possible and I am not sure a judge would want to mess with that. The 3 hours on M W F he might get, but I don't know that a judge will allow anyone to take a newborn away from its mother at all. I would hope that the judge would award him visitation in your home for this period of time and then revisit the situation when the child reaches say 3 - 6 months.

In any case, the best thing for you to do RIGHT NOW is to get the paperwork filed with the court. That way you will put a nix on his threats and you can relax. All this stress is not good for you or the baby.

By the way, congrats on your imminent arrival!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would contact an attorney to get the best advice now, before the baby is born. I know it can be expensive, but research some community resources. I don't think breastfeeding will be a reason to not allow him visitation - but again, I'd contact an expert to help you make the best decision now. Best of luck and congratulations on the little one! Take good care.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Great Falls on

Let's see how beat up this post gets me…
This guy sounds scary. There are several red flags, and a glimpse at what your future dealings with him will be like. I am not telling you to be malicious, but for your safety and the babies, don't put his name on the birth certificate and stop all contact with him. If you need to, tell him the baby is not his. It sounds like you can take care of yourself and the baby just fine without his help. If you ask him to pay child support, you are giving him rights. If he really cares for your child, he will not give up persuing the child well after he/she is born. Keep the ball in your court, do hire an attorney, and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Since he is the father, he can ask a judge for custody - partial or shared. It is up to the judge how much time he will have. If he showed the judge he was responsible, employed and motivated, he could get 50% time. Unless you were an unfit mother the court would not award him full custody. But fathers have a lot more rights today. And yes, you could pump. You need an attorney and so does the father. If you do not put him on the birth certificate, he can request a paternity test. If you do put him on the birth certificate, the court will assume he is the father.

Maybe as some responders say, he is trying to be malicious. But maybe he wants to (given the I am assuming unplanned situation) be a father. You must have seen something in this man to have been sleeping with him. Even if the two of you are not involved anymore, does not mean he may not be a good father. And if he is, children do benefit from having two parents.

Since you accept that he is the father, perhaps rather than fighting it (as most people seem to want to), you should try to imagine, what if you were the man and he was the one who was pregnant. Would you want someone to take your child away? Wanting to share in child raising does not equate to not wanting the baby to drink breast milk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

He has a legal right to his child. He is going to get visitation that does not include you, I imagine if you talk to an attorney he will be able to tell you the perimeters of this for sure.

He should pay child support, no matter how well off you are financially. He has that right and obligation. He needs to help raise his child.

You need to take care of yourself and your child of course. I hope things work out well for all of you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

You need to consult an attorney who practices domestic relations law to deal with this situation.



answers from Chattanooga on

Wait if he's not in your life is he paying any of the bills for the pregnancy? No he can't name your kid. Get a lawyer because if he is using wanting the child as a means of getting cash plus if you can show you don't think he could take care of him you have nothing to worry about. Make sure you get him for child support. Though this is one case be glad your not married to him & in him being in Army I had a friend who's man got her preg for 2nd child .. kicked her out and kept 1st child.. divorced her and took up with babysitter and courts let him cause he was in military and deemed more stable only on that basis.



answers from Chicago on

Every man's first response is that they want custody yada yada yada. they think if they have the kid they will pay less. what a crock. If you are in the reserves your going to have to get it set up to have a stable someone who will step in if you get called up. you do not have to take the child anywhere. if he wants visitation he will have to get an order for that and he will have to physically come and pick your child up. You do not have to let him have any sort of contact at all without a court ordered visitation. Be prepared to go that route if he gets persistent. but make sure he understands that when he goes that route along with it will be court ordered child support. good luck. oh and by the way just because a doctor says its ok to move to Texas doesn't mean you have to lol.

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