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Motorizer 04-26-2010 09:30 AM

Unwed Fathers Rights?
Hello, everybody.
I'm glad I found this forum, very interesting.
WEll, here's my sob story:

Myself and a woman were involved for approximately a year, seemed to be going well.
Then, we found she was pregnant.
What a shock.

I offered to marry her, and was intent on providing for the child and us.
She asked me to move in, which I did.
Then' after approximately ONE month, she asked me to leave, citing that she did not think the relationship would work.
I have tried to convince her otherwise, which has only exacerbated the situation. Hurtful things were said by both parties.

Anyways, she has cut off almost all contact, and refuses to even contemplate joint or shared custody. The baby is due in July.

I would really like to be an active and involved father, but I am not sure that I would get a chance. I do not have any drug/ alcohol/ violence issues, and have been in a trade, with a steady job for years.
Do I have any hope, or am I screwed?
All I wanted was to be a good Dad, but am so freaking scared right now....

representingself 04-26-2010 10:11 AM

If you want to be a father to that child, then there is nothing that she can do about it...;)

Right now the onus is on you to get ready for baby... if this is your first child, you should consider enrolling in some parenting classes (Judges like to see a tangible effort on your part).

Make a few necessary purchases so that you have everything you will need for baby's arrival. Keep the receipts to show the Judge.... it proves that you were making an effort for baby! :)

And sit down and try to develop your 'parenting plan'. DO you have people near you that can help supoort you with the baby.... appropriate accomodations, CSA approved carseat etc. Talk to as many people as you can and get suggestions on what shared parenting could look like with an infant.

Once you have everything like that in place (time is of the essence).... go and meet with a few Lawyers until you find one that you like. As soon as the child is born, file a petition for joint custody/shared parenting. Do NOT delay.... even a short delay can appear as you have given your implied consent for her to have custody.... once that damage is done, it is difficult to undo.

You are going to have your hands full just because the child is an infant, and if she breastfeeds, you will get only sporadic, short duration access.
Sure, she could use a breast pump so that you could spend more than 2 hours with baby.... but she wont, and the courts will NOT force her to do it. :(

That being said, time passes quickly and before you know it, your precious little baby, is a tumbling little toddler, who can spend more and more time with Daddy!!!

logicalvelocity 04-26-2010 11:21 AM

The distinction between children born within marriage or other relationships has long since abolished.


Rule of parentage

1. (1) Subject to subsection (2), for all purposes of the law of Ontario a person is the child of his or her natural parents and his or her status as their child is independent of whether the child is born within or outside marriage. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 1 (1).

Exception for adopted children

(2) Where an adoption order has been made, section 158 or 159 of the Child and Family Services Act applies and the child is the child of the adopting parents as if they were the natural parents. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 1 (2).
Kindred relationships

(3) The parent and child relationships as determined under subsections (1) and (2) shall be followed in the determination of other kindred relationships flowing therefrom. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 1 (3).
Common law distinction of legitimacy abolished

(4) Any distinction at common law between the status of children born in wedlock and born out of wedlock is abolished and the relationship of parent and child and kindred relationships flowing therefrom shall be determined for the purposes of the common law in accordance with this section. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12, s. 1 (4).

Children's Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.12

Welcome to the forum.

dinkyface 04-26-2010 11:27 AM

I was in the same situation - she ran & hid partway thru pregnancy. Thru persistence and lots of help from female friends calling hospitals I managed to 'catch' her (them!) in hospital day after delivery. My souvenirs from that day are a picture of my daughter, and a picture of me having a nice conversation with the 5 rather large armed guards that she called in (I'm a yoga-practicing IT geek, pushing 50, wear glasses, and weigh 135lbs soaking wet!!).

Then 2 months with no further contact, and I heard thru the 'grapevine' that whe was considering moving 5 hours away to be with her family. So, no choice but to serve her with a motion for access & custody.

Her response was to throw the most amazing pile of slander at me (together with a request for a restraining order), with the idea of convincing a judge that I was a danger to her and child, abusive, and that there was no possibility that we could co-parent and therefore she should get sole custody. My lawyer convinced me she would win.... and she did.

Due to her delay tactics, my first contact was when DD was 5 months old - 3x2 hours per week, supervised (I paid for supervisor). Supervisor soon wrote affidavit indicating my complete competency and loving care.

So my advice is to do EVERYTHING you can to prevent this, to show you will be (and are) a respectful, supportive, co-operative, interested parent. Manufacture situations if you have to.

This includes starting to pay support voluntarily and regularly, as soon as child is born, according to child support tables.

I could not get ANYWHERE (in Toronto) to provide parenting courses to a single father who could not bring along a pregnant partner!!!! So, I signed up as a volunteer caregiver at a local drop-in center - they provided training on infant care, and children's first aid/CPR.

Keep records of EVERYTHING - so much will happen and you will need to be able to refer back to it.

logicalvelocity 04-26-2010 11:35 AM

In hindsight - you may want to advise the other parent by letter that you wish to be named on the pending child's birth certificate (long form) as a parent as well.

dinkyface 04-26-2010 11:36 AM


Originally Posted by representingself (Post 38920)
If you want to be a father to that child, then there is nothing that she can do about it...;)

If only that were true. :(

dinkyface 04-26-2010 11:40 AM


Originally Posted by logicalvelocity (Post 38941)
In hindsight - you may want to advise the other parent by letter that you wish to be named on the pending child's birth certificate (long form) as a parent as well.

Yes!! This is important! (my ex kept 'making mistakes' in filling out the paperwork to get this done after the fact).

This letter may help you later in court, but legally there is nothing to compel her to name you as father on the birth certificate, even if there is no doubt about parentage.

And also, think about whether it is important to you that your child carry your last name. If you can be present in hospital when she is filling out the birth registration you might be able to make this happen. If parents cannot agree on the name, then the Ont Vital Statistics Act says it should be hyphenated, in alpha order. If you cannot get this done at birth, then at the very least, indicate (in writing) that this is your desire so that she cannot claim that you consent otherwise.

Motorizer 04-26-2010 07:40 PM

Thanks everyone... I really am lost, and I don't have the slightest clue as to what to do.
I am in Alberta, by the way... does the name thing still work here?

dinkyface 04-26-2010 07:59 PM

First thing - protect your custody and access options!!! If you are getting stuck there, don't get distracted by naming!

Start reading and reading and reading. Assuming it gets to the lawyer/court stage, you want to be as well educated as you can be, since you cannot just place your fate blindly in the hands of a lawyer. You need to retain control of what you want.

Get some initial consultations with a few lawyers, and learn what are the possible scenarios that might unfold, and get a plan.

Assume everything legal you need to learn is on the internet. Search, search, search.

Just get out and do it. You do not have any time to waste throwing your hands in the air and wailing.

singledad99 04-27-2010 01:20 PM

These two words never go together in family law: Fathers and Rights. Sooner you accept this the better it is for you.

Your best option is to negotiate and avoid going to court at all costs. If that does not work and the child is born, go to the court the very same day and ask for immediate hearing for access. If you need to understand why I am saying this, search for Status Quo on this forum or any family law information website.

By the way, you should be very nice to your ex and avoid saying hurtful things at all the times. Even when she starts it you should not retaliate in the same manner.

Good luck to you and your child.

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