Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsMarriage & Divorce · 1 decade ago

Non-biological fathers rights?

I have a very good friend whose wife left him for another man. She had a child from a one night stand a couple of years before she married my friend, however the child has been around the non biological father (my friend) all his life because the soon-to-be-ex-wife was best friends with his sister and they all used to live in the same house. Now that they are divorcing he is afraid she will not let him see the child, he is a really good guy but he's getting walked on, he still pays her credit card bills, loans her money for rent and she still drives the Mercedes SUV that's in his name, all this while she is living with the other man in another apartment now. She hangs the child over his head but then threatens to keep the child away. Bottom line, if you've been able to follow all that, does the non-biological father have any rights to seek any kind of visitation or custody? We live in Illinois, I don't know if it's different by state... Any info is greatly appreciated.

Update:

he wanted to legally adopt him while they were married but, again, it was just another thing she baited him with.

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I seriously doubt that he has any rights. If he felt a connection to the boy, he should have legally adopted him while he was married. He is probably out of luck, but he should check with his local department of family services to be sure.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe that he does have rights. I know for a fact that in New Hampshire (where I live) there are step parent rights. Actually, a step parent can sometimes even be awarded custody in the divorce in my state.

    If the man takes his ex wife to court and can prove that he has had a good connection and bond with this child, then he WILL be granted visitation by the state of Illinois to see his "son." They do what is in the best interest of the child. If it would benefit the child to spend time with him, then he has a right to persue it and the courts will typically grant it. It sounds as though this is one of those cases that it would only harm the child to keep him/her away from your friend. Have him contact a lawyer, they can advise him better. He may even have a right to persue custody of the child.

    Good luck.

    And check out www.divorcenet.com

    There is an Illinois section, just click on your state.

  • Cham
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Most states consider the step parent to be a legal stranger to the child. Unless the child was adopted, he will have no rights whatsoever, let alone have standing to even file suit for anything concerning the child.

    After looking over the Illinois family code, I do see that there is an ability for the step parent to petition for "reasonable" visitation with a child bearing on a few factors here.

    You can find that information by searching using the provided information.

    Illinois: 750 I.L.C.S. 5/601(b)(2) (Supp. 1996) (state provision of Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, permitting person other than parent to petition for custody or visitation if the child is not in the physical custody of one of his parents). In re Marriage of Carey, 188 Ill. App. 3d 1040, 544 N.E.2d 1293 (1989) (under Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act, a nonparent, without showing that the natural parent is unfit, may obtain custody of the child if the best interests of the child so dictate).

  • I am not a lawyer, but through personal experience I do know that visitation and custody rights differ from state to state. He should document everything she does and says (short reminder notes are OK) He should keep receipts of all the money he is spending on her including bills and loans. It is unfortunate, but I think he has no parental rights, however, when he gets his lawyer he needs to express his concern for the child and try to negotiate some type of visitation with the child. It sounds as if she is self-centered and using her child to "control" him. That will grow old for her. If she is as self-centered as it sounds she will eventually get to the point she will gladly have the child spend time with your friend, so she can have "her" time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In this case, he needs to consult with an attorney to stop being her sugar daddy and see about being established as legally as the defacto father of the child; the down side if he succeeds he will be liable for child support, the upside is he will be granted visitation.

    If he has been know to the child's as the father for several years, he might actually be able to establish joint custody with a good lawyer and not pay child support.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know if it varies by state - I am in Michigan.

    Non-biological parents don't have many rights in Michigan. A close friend of mine was raising his ex wife's daughter from a previous relationship. He was the only father this little girl had known ... Until the biological father decided it wasn't right and yanked the girl out of the only home she had known. She didn't want to go (She was 12) but had no choice, because my friend had no blood relation to her.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I doubt it but he could try and I could certainly be wrong. He should speak with an attorney, they usually give free consults. It also may depend on where the real dad is. If the real dad is totally and completely out of the picture, never met the kid and does not provide any type of support , then your friend has a better chance. It is definitely going to cost him a lot of money though to fight it out in court

  • 1 decade ago

    Sadly, unless he legally adopted the child, he has no legal rights. If she decides one day to stop letting him see the child, there isn't a thing he can do about it. It's sad this child has such a selfish mother, he/she is the one that really suffers......

  • 1 decade ago

    FIRST YOUR FRIEND NEEDS TO STOP PAYING ANYTHING FOR HER,AND ASK A LAWYER WHAT RIGHTS HE HAS,I DONT THINK HE WILL HAVE ANY,SO HE MIGHT AS WELL STOP TRYING TO BUY HIM FROM HER,AND MOVE ON WITH HIS LIFE,HE NEEDS TO GET OUT THERE AND START DATING AND FIND HIS TRUE LOVE AND HAVE BABIES OF HIS OWN...HE WIL B A LOT HAPPPIER..PEACE

  • 1 decade ago

    Tell him to take her to court or consult a lawyer.

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