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I just discovered that I have a daughter. Can I have full custody?

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Anonymous Asked:

I just found out I have a 12 year old daughter. The mother of my daughter never told me. I found out through her cousin. I did an DNA test and I am 99% her father. She has in the care of her grandparents since she was 5. I would like to have a visitation schedule. I don't know if they will approve. Would I win in court for full custody? I can financially support her as my wife and I both have good paying full time jobs. She also has 3 other siblings that she now loves.

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A Family Lawyer
6 years ago

It is beyond the scope of these Q and A to predict your success in court. As a parent, you have the presumptive right, as does the child, to have access with you. You would need to explain why the current arrangements for the child are not working. It is an arguable issue of whether a proper status quo has been established, because the arrangements are based on the mother not telling you about your daughter. However, the matter must be addressed from the child's best interests and you would need to show some consideration for the grandparents who have cared for the child for a number of years. Certainly, if you were successful then the child should continue to spend time with the grandparents, unless there is good reason not to.

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