As a single man, you have NO ASSUMED RIGHTS to the child. Watch the movie trailer at the link below about a single father
Take a certified parenting course. The court is going to order you to take it anyway, so by showing you’ve taken it only looks good to them.
Start keeping a daily journal of all your activities. The most common way to prevent a father from getting his rights through the courts is a false allegation. A daily journal is your number one piece of evidence in court and you can even refer to it while on the stand.
If you are being denied access, or she's trying to control your access, write her a letter notifying her of intent to exercise visitation on a specific date, like Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. Sign it and make three copies. Mail the original Certified Mail and the other with Delivery Confirmation (75¢ + postage). If she rejects the one, she still receives the other. Whether the Certified Mail confirmation card or the Certified letter comes back, attach it unopened to a copy of the letter, plus a printout of the Delivery Confirmation from the web link below.
When you file for visitation rights, take these documents to the County Courthouse. Have the Clerk of the Court notarize it and than place it in your case file. Do this three times before considering going to court. When you do go to court, the judge will these letters while preparing for the hearing.
When you show up to pick up the child(ren), bring witnesses. Do not enter her place alone. If you can record, have someone video record. Check the site below to see if it is illegal to record audio and/or video without the mother knowing. If her state does not have a law either way, than it defaults to the federal ruling, which says one person in a conversation, must know they are being recorded. THAT’S YOU!
If you want to learn how to do all this go to Dads House in Yahoo Groups. Upon joining, you will receive a link to an educational manual that can teach you what you need to know. Take the time to learn what you can and should do.
Bird Nest Custody
Can We Tape
Fathers & Families
Fathers Rights: The Movie
Parental Alienation Syndrome
United States Post Office: Delivery Confirmation