Utah

'I have to try': Father suing to raise daughter caught in complicated legal tangle

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  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 6:48 p.m.

    If he is the biological father then he should be awarded custody of his daughter. It does not appear from the article that he is an unfit parent.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Jan. 9, 2017 4:47 p.m.

    Hrm... it seems that in Utah an unwed mother can't simply declare who the father is. That's... interesting. The state also doesn't have a "putative father registry" like many other states do (that allows an unwed father to claim a child, even over the objections of the mother. The eventual consequences typically require a paternity test, but the important part is to make a claim early).

    So it sounds like, short of dragging the mother to court, his options for gaining legal paternity status were limited by Utah law.

    That said, they may have avoided doing so because of child support (in many states - not sure about Utah - a single mother has to establish that she tried to get child support before seeking certain kinds of welfare).

    And *that* said, from a cursory search it seems that Utah is kind of hostile to unwed fathers, and cuts them out.

    So who knows who the real villains are in this case. Hopefully it turns out for the best, but who knows what that is?

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 2:44 p.m.

    Why doesn't he just go on the Maury Povich show and have them say the magical words, "Jose, you are the father" and then it would be finalized. We always hear how overwhelmed the foster care system is in Utah, so I would think they would be ecstatic to remove one child from their roles. If DCFS was going after child support, this would have been completed a long time ago.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 9, 2017 12:09 p.m.

    Eight comments and not one has mentioned what is *supposed* to be the deciding factor:

    What's best for this child?

    He gets a woman pregnant. He makes no effort to marry her--why not? He acknowledges watching her life go down the tubes, but never petitions for custody until well after the baby is taken away by the state. He isn't employed, and doesn't even have an apartment of his own to raise this child into.

    Is this someone you'd want to adopt your child out to?

    If not, why is there even a question of where this little girl should grow up? Is that snippet of DNA more important than this child's future?

  • splitme2 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 11:03 a.m.

    Isn't Utah a common law state? If they were 'together' for 3+ years they are essentially 'married' by law. I think this should be brought to light and see if it helps in any way.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    This trouble could have been avoided if the couple would have sought legal recognition of the relationship i.e. marriage.

    Our society is experiencing the fantasy world, live by our own rules, life-style of undisciplined young adults running head-on into the legal framework of life.

    I have no sympathy for the alleged father. His disregard of the available legal protection of marriage comes with consequences. It appears he opted for a situation where either partner could leave at any time for any reason or whim. He got what he bargained for, an easy into and easy out of relationship with no obligations.

    As it appears he has no legal standing, due to his choices, I feel the court is obligated to seek the best situation for the child, who also has rights and should not be considered property to be claimed by an immature single adult unprepared to be a parent as he is both in school and working.

    If the man's petition for custody is awarded there is a strong possibility the child will be raised in another cohabiting relationship where stability is absent and the possibility of abuse is higher than in a marriage situation.

  • Musketman Stansbury Park, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 10:04 a.m.

    If the roles were reversed and they were after him for child support. They would have a court ordered paternity test on him in a matter of weeks. It BS. that they cant establish Fatherhood in the same manner for him to get custody.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 9, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    This is ridiculous.
    A paternity test, one or two visits to determine a safe positive environment and he should be awarded custody.
    We have way too many lawyers and laws in this country that hinder what is right.
    Our legal system is pathetic.

  • Catherine Gardner Hartlepool, 00
    Jan. 9, 2017 7:19 a.m.

    I live in England so I'm not sure what Utah laws are but why on earth hasn't it been established through DNA that Jose is indeed the Father? Get on with it and give this man his child!

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Jan. 9, 2017 7:15 a.m.

    Unless I missed something, the story did not mention DNA tests. Wouldn't that be the logical thing to do if he is trying to establish paternity, and claims to be the biological father?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 7:00 p.m.

    Unless the state can prove he isn't fit to be her parent, his daughter should not be taken from him.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 5:40 p.m.

    The story leaves one to wonder about a few things. Did he pay child support? Why didn't he establish his paternity after she was born if he was that concerned about her? When the mom was going off the deep end why didn't he take her, keep her, and try to get custody of her before DCFS got involved with them? Has he tried to establish paternity since DCFS got involved?

    Another example of the problems with our current society with so many kids being born out of wedlock. They deserve to have two parents that are committed to each other and to them.