What Rights does my Child’s Biological Father have if his Name isn’t on her Birth Certificate and my Ex Husband is?

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“I was never married to my 12 year old daughter’s biological father. However I was married to someone else at the time. My ex-husbands name is on her birth certificate since the law says if your married the husband is the legal father regardless of the actual biology. My ex did know that the child was not biologically his but has raised her as his own anyway.

The biological father has not been involved with our daughter, but wanted to be. He was not financially etc. stable at the time our daughter was born, and by the time he got his life together, my daughter was already established with my ex-husband. He thought was doing the right thing by staying away, and not forcing the issue or disrupting her life.

He has kept up with how she is doing, via phone, and e-mail through the years with me.

Recently, my daughter has been told the truth about her “real” dad. I told the bio-dad of this, and he is THRILLED. He has been seeing her, and wants to establish paternity and get visitation, and pay child support. All the stuff a “dad” does.

No-one wanted to take away anything away from my ex husband since he’s been a decent father to her all these years. He doesn’t want to work with us at all and change the visitation schedule so we can all have some time with her. I don’t blame him really, but no-one is trying to hurt him. My daughter wants to see her biological dad and her half brother and sister on his side.

When my ex and I divorced, child visitation and support was detailed out in the paperwork. He says that if we want to change that we have to go to court.

We are wondering if the bio-dad stands any chance to re-gain legal rights to his child since it’s been 12 years since she was born, and he has had no formal contact with her during that time. We are going to get an attorney, but until then, we were just wondering if he stands a chance at all. We live in the state of North Carolina.”

Question: The presumption is that father by marriage is the girl’s father. Without presumptive father’s complicity, biological father will have little or no chance to take away that relationship. If he’s so fired up to see your daughter and pay support, arrange for him to do that on your time and have him pay you support informally. You don’t need a court order or an attorney for that.