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What legal rights do I have with my son’s father if we are unmarried and no longer cohabiting?

Q: My son & I left his fathers home when my son was about 2 weeks old due to the verbal & emotional abuse my ex was inflicting upon me. Fast forward to today, where our son is almost 6 months old & there have been plenty of arguments, more abusive (not physical) behavior, & he went an entire month w/o reaching out to check on our son. He did send his portion of the daycare tuition via paypal during that month we didn’t hear from him and I have no desire to take him to court for child support. He expressed to me twice that he never wanted another child (he already has a 5 yr old w/ a volatile ex) after the child was already born. He gave me a hard time at the hospital and refused to sign the birth certificate until a DNA test was performed. We were together for 3 yrs at this point. DNA test was performed, paternity confirmed & he is now on the birth certificate as the father. At this point because of the verbal, emotional & mental abuse, I do not feel comfortable at all having him around my son without my supervision. He says he has a right to take him if he wants to but I need to know what my legal rights as his mother and primary caregiver. What can or cannot i legally do or allow?

A: David’s Answer: You can – and under the circumstances you described should – file a Petition for Sole Custody with the Family Court. If you want his visitation supervised, then if he comes to Court & requests access time, you should then make an application for same to be supervised. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. 

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