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Man loses child custody for not filing documents

It's important for parents to make every effort to completely understand the child custody laws within the state where they live. Alaska parents may be interested in reading about a case in which an unwed father's appeal for child custody was denied. Reportedly, the father did not maintain his legal rights before an adoption process.

Since the father's 3-year-old child was up for adoption, he protested by filing an appeal. The court said that, by the father not filing a paternity affidavit within a certain time frame, he was not able to keep his legal rights. Two weeks prior to the child's birth, he reportedly filed a petition that was unsigned and unverified in an attempt to initiate custody and parenting time. Just days after the child's birth, the mother decided to go ahead with adoption in spite of the father's attempt to establish his rights.

While he filed a sworn and notarized document stating that the paternity proceedings were underway, he did not file a separate sworn affidavit, the court said. These affidavits are required under Utah's law when parents are seeking a child support order or are seeking custody of a child. Unfortunately, without the signature written under oath, the father was unable to preserve his rights and could not prevent the adoption process.

This case is an example of why Alaska parents should keep abreast of child custody laws and any updates. Failure to do that could result in losing rights to a child based on technicalities such as not submitting certain documents. While these laws generally do not apply to mothers, they most certainly apply to the fathers. Fathers who are facing the loss of rights to their child may want to explore all of their legal options.

Source: deseretnews.com, "Utah's top court denies unwed father's appeal for child custody", Whitney Evans, Nov. 2, 2014

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