We’re getting married, his ex is pregnant, we want joint custody, what are our rights?

October 28th, 2010

I’m engaged, and going to be a step-mother to an infant. My boyfriend (now fiance) and I broke up last summer. We talked all the time, tried dating other people, and decided that we were miserable apart. (We both had recently been divorced before we got together, so we had our doubts – but realized that we shouldn’t have). Anyway, we are engaged now and planning a May/June wedding. Not bad so far, right? There is a problem. The girl my fiance was seeing is pregnant (due july). He cares about the well-being of this child, but has no emotional attachments to her – even though he wants the best for both her and the baby (he goes to doc visits with her) and wants to spend 50/50 time with the baby once he/she is born. I also share his desire to be actively involved in the baby’s life, and would like to help the mother as much as I can. Problem is – she HATES me because my fiance and I are together. Once we are married, can she legally keep me from seeing this child?
He can have me listed as a guardian as well though, right? For example – if he leaves on business and it’s our turn with the baby, she can’t keep me from having the baby while he isn’t there – IF the courts rule in our favor, right?

6 Responses to “We’re getting married, his ex is pregnant, we want joint custody, what are our rights?”

  1. Ricardo says:

    You have no legal rights to a stepchild. Your husband, the child’s father has legal rights. You will see the child when the child is with him. You do not have any legal rights to be with the child, or have anything to do with the decision making of this child. Only the child’s parents, and sometime grandparents, have rights.

  2. **Kesha** says:

    once your married she will have to justify why she does not want you to be a part of her childs life. If she wants to be difficult she can make it so that only your fiance can pick the child up etc. She will have to prove that you would harm the child for the courts to say you cannot be a part of its life. looks like its going to go to court, if she really isnt happy about you, she can take it as far as that.

  3. ad says:

    Wow, you are in for something good with this marriage. She can’t keep you from seeing the child while in the possession of the father. This sounds like K-fed, left the ex with a child and pregnant and married Britney, look how that turned out. Remember how you get them is how you lose them.

  4. Sara TTC says:

    consult a lawyer…. its all way more complicated than you would ever believe…

    the first person was right… step parents have no rights, entitlements, nothing…

    good luck hon… its not gonna be an easy ride…. for either of u… just do your best to support your fiance…

    I couldnt love my step son any more than i do, not even if i had given birth to him myself.

    It feels like we have 2 seperate lives, with him and without him.

    keep in touch… x

  5. iloveweddings says:

    Hi. I would suggest that the two of you (you and your fiance) consult a lawyer. The problem is….this is your fiance/husband’s child….not yours. It might possibly be a little different IF he had been married to this woman (I don’t know)…but since he was not, well, sorry, but you don’t really have any rights. This is not an ex-wife, etc.

    Yes, she can (not saying she will) make your life difficult. She CAN (and has every legal right) to exclude you from her child’s life. You seem like a warm and caring person, but this is the law. And, if your husband is out of town and it is his “turn” to have the baby…yes, she can forbid you from taking the baby.

    Consult an attorney that specializes in family law. Good luck to you.

  6. Vero says:

    She sounds like fun. No need to be negative, but I take it that your fiance is 100% sure he’s the father. I would have him to do a paternity test just to be sure. I don’t think that you would have any legal rights to the child unless you are listed as a guardian and then I think that only comes into effect if both parents die. As for legally keeping you from seeing the child, I think she would actually have to get a restraining order against you. That would mean showing the court proof that you are an actual danger to the child, they won’t grant it just because she doesn’t like you. It sounds like she is going to make your life a living he**. Consult a reputable family law attorney in your state (since states have varying laws), they can tell you straight out what exactly your rights are and how to handle this. Good luck.

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