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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 10 months ago

After a divorce can one parents rights be terminated completely?

My ex and I divorced 10 years ago with me having sole legal and physical custody. Since then he hasn’t paid support, called, or attempted to see our child in any way. Out of curiosity, I asked my attorney if we could terminate his parental rights and she said no because there wouldn’t be another person to take them over in his place. In my state as a single person I could adopt a child from foster care so this doesn’t make sense to me. Does this sound right or should I seek counsel elsewhere?

9 Answers

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  • Athena
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Only by court order and you have to show just cause.

    You cannot do it just because he/she was a bat spouse and cheated on you with your best friend.

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  • Yeti
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Your attorney is correct.

    Kids are not property. It's not like removing someone's name from the title of a used car.

    Generally speaking, the court won't terminate parental rights unless you remarry and your new spouse is adopting the child. If your ex doesn't agree, you can have a contested adoption, if you want to go through all that. It's not in the child's interests to simply have his father terminated. At the minimum, a child support debt would continue accumulating. There are two parents who remain obligated to the child, including financially at the minimum.

    A child in foster care is lacking any legal parents. So it's in that child's best interests to at least have one parent.

    As far as your ex not being involved, did you ever do anything to encourage him to have a relationship with his child, or did you drive him off and blame him for it? It's not just all on him.

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    That doesn't sound right to me but then I don't know the laws of every state. I do know that family court judges are usually loathe to sever parental rights though unless the parent is question is dangerous. So get a second opinion from another attorney but also expect an uphill battle unless you have proof this person is a danger to the child. You may be better off leaving the parental rights in place and just trying harder to collect on the child support order.

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  • 10 months ago

    your attorney likely has it correctly ... that's what you pay him/her for

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  • 10 months ago

    Yes, the lawyer is exactly right. If you adopt a child, by yourself, then there is no father in the picture. However, your own child HAS a father. He may be out of the picture but he is still the father of the child, and if you wanted child support, you had the option to go and get it, through the court system. In fact, your child deserved child support. You did your child a big disservice not obtaining what he/she was "entitled" to.

    Source(s): Certified Paralegal, with 25+ years' experience.
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  • 10 months ago

    If you don't trust what your lawyer tells you then you should get a different lawyer. No one here knows the terms of your divorce decree or the laws of your state.

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  • ricky
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Why wouldn’t you focus on him paying past due child support?

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  • 10 months ago

    Just because someone hasn't paid support etc doesn't give you the right to terminate rights.

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  • 10 months ago

    If the rights are not being exercised why bother going to the expense of terminating them? What difference will it make?

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