Q. I am a German citizen living and working in the U.S. I had a relationship with a former colleague who was here from Greece but returned there. Six months ago, I had a baby here who is a U.S. citizen but also has rights to German and Greek citizenship. I listed him on the birth certificate. When she was born, he and I were getting along. He signed the papers so I was able to get her a U.S. passport to take her to Germany over Christmas.
Things have gone downhill recently. He is not working and insists that I have to pay him child support because he needs to maintain a home for her to spend time in with him. His mother calls me almost daily demanding that I let my daughter spend the summer in Greece. The father wants to come here and visit but wants me to pay for all of his travel including visiting relatives in Los Angeles and Chicago.
I am concerned he is going to come here to visit, get our daughter a Greek passport and leave the country with her. Can I do anything to prevent this?
A. I suggest you write a strongly worded letter to the Greek Consulate in Boston and make an appointment to hand deliver it. In the letter you will explain the situation and state your vehement objection to your daughter being issued a Greek passport until she is of the age to apply for one on her own. Explain that she has a US passport and does not have a need for a passport from any other country at this time and that you are making this request in an effort to safeguard her from being kidnapped by her father and his family.
There are other options, you can go to court and ask for an order of sole legal and physical custody of your daughter which would likely be granted given that she lives here with you and he is overseas. You are entitled to ask for child support even if it is a minimal order. He is completely wrong on the law and you have no obligation to pay him or cover the costs of his travel. Even if you decide you don’t want his money, having a judgment granting you sole custody is valuable in case he ever does try to take her without your consent.
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