in_excelsis_dea (in_excelsis_dea) wrote in little_details,

Custody, Abandonment and Teen Pregnancy/Marriage

I have several questions. No, they're not for NaNo, but they're distracting me from writing my NaNo, so I'm asking them anyways.

Situation: 17 year-old gets pregnant ca. 1989/90. She's in a relationship with the father of the child, who is older than she is (let's say early 20s to keep it simple). She's from Ohio, left for England to supposedly go to boarding school, but dropped out. No/very little contact with her older sister (sister is guardian) in Ohio.

There are two ways this could go that I have questions about:

Situation 1: Because people are after her and the father of the baby, she runs away without telling the father. She goes to Toronto to live with a friend. After giving birth, she has the friend raise the child. She has no contact with the child until he is fifteen. However, the friend sends her information about the child and she set up a trust fund for him. Basically, she's been keeping watch behind the scenes.

The foster mother dies, and purely by chance the father learns about the boy. He wants custody of his son (he has no knowledge of the mother's whereabouts or if she's even alive). The son is twelve and wants to live with his father. The mother doesn't know about the foster mother's death until after it happens, while the father was a witness (which is how he learns about the boy). Parents and child are American citizens, child has dual citizenship. Foster mother dies in Toronto. The father wants to take the kid back to the states.

Would he be able to get custody without alerting the mother/searching for her? Also, because he never knew about the child, would that be considered abandonment? Would what the mother did be considered abandonment? How long would it take for the father to gain custody if the mother is kept in the dark? Were the mother's or father's rights ever terminated? How would being in Toronto affect the situation? Would the father have to go through the American and Canadian courts, or just the Canadian/American courts? Would the father be able to cross into the US with the boy without showing proof of parentage/guardianship? Also, how would it be proved that he is the father, and how long would that take?

If the mother a few years later learns about the whereabouts of her son (she thought he died with the foster mother), could she petition for custody? Would the kid's opinion mean anything (he's 15, nearly 16)? Would the father have any say? What would the mother have to do?

Situation 2: She tells the father. The father wants to marry her. As the father has a College degree and is independently wealthy, he's capable of supporting them, and the mother wants to marry him. Her sister and brother-in-law are not pleased, but trying to be supportive.

If they marry in the state of Ohio, would they have to go to premarriage counselling? How long would this take? Would the sister have to give permission for them to get married? How would being emancipated actually affect the mother? Could the brother-in-law cause problems/have any authority in them getting married? If the judge allows them the license, will he marry them right there, or do they have a separate ceremony? Also, because she's seventeen, the father can't be charged with statuatory rape, right?

What would happen if they married abroad? Could they marry in England or Canada and still have a valid marriage in the states? Would her age be a problem in England or Canada?

search terms: Ohio + teen pregnancy, Ohio + emancipation, Ohio + teen marriage, Ohio marriage 1990, child abandonment, England + teen pregnancy + marriage, forfeiture of parental rights, and variations thereof

Edit: spelling
Tags: usa: government (misc), ~custody & social services

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