To file for visitation, you'll need to contact the family court in your county. But the first thing they'll want to know is whether paternity has been established. If your name is already on your child's birth certificate, or if you signed a Declaration of Paternity at the hospital (sometimes called an "Acknowledgment of Paternity" form), either document will likely be sufficient proof of paternity for the state.
But if your ex won't allow you to sign the affidavit, you'll need to prove paternity through other means. In this situation, the family court may refer you to the Office of Child Support Enforcement, who will help you prove paternity. But they'll also set up child support at the same time, which may be retroactive to the child's birth.
Once paternity is formally established, you can go back to the family court and request visitation. Just know from the beginning that because the courts view child support and visitation as two separate issues, you'll be responsible for paying child support each month whether visitation is granted or not. In most cases, though, the courts are generally supportive of establishing a regular visitation schedule between the child and the non-custodial parent.
While the process is often slow and difficult, keep your eye on the goal -- establishing a warm and loving, ongoing relationship with your child.
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