Do you give up your rights as a parent if you abandoned your kids? 16 Answers as of June 01, 2011

My husband abandoned me and my kids one year ago and I wanted to know if that makes him automaticaly give up his parental rights? Also he is not an actual citizen, currently only conditional.

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Abandonment without just cause can result in termination of parental rights in connection with an adoption or child abuse/neglect case. However, there is no automatic "giving up" of parental rights; a court order is required. Citizenship is irrelevant to the status of parental rights.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/1/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
A party cannot "give up" their parental rights, automatically or otherwise. Termination of parental rights is a process.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
This is a very complicated situation, and no lawyer can advise you without talking this through with you and getting a lot more information. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/1/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. No rights are relinquished unless or until a court order terminates that parent's rights.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/31/2011
Goolsby Law Office
Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
Generally, in Georgia, mere lack of contact, without more, would not automatically work to terminate parental rights. You might want to contact a family lawyer in your community to discuss all the facts and your options. For instance, abandonment would clearly affect custody rights. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/31/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Citizenship has nothing to do with being a parent. Abandonment just means that if someone else in your life wanted to adopt your child (stepfather) it may be possible to terminate his parental rights for the purpose of an adoption. Otherwise, abandonment means he has been gone a long time, but could re-enter the life of your child at any time.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Sadly no, he does not relinquish his rights automatically by abandonment. Please check with local counsel for information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Wolverine Law | Stuart Collis
    Parental rights only can be terminated by a court. However, depending on the jurisdiction that you are in, they may be terminated after a certain time period. Of course, a termination of parental rights bars you from collection of child support because your child will legally not have a father.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, a parent has not lost their parental rights until there is a Court order stating that their parental rights have been terminated. Abandonment is a grounds under which a Judge can terminate a parent's rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, the fact that your husband moved out does not mean he loses his parental rights. However, if he has not been having contact with the children or helping to support them, those may be factors the court would consider when deciding what his future contact with the children should be under the parenting plan. You should move forward with a court action to establish child support and a parenting plan.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    In Utah it is not automatic. You need to make a motion before the court to eliminate their parental rights. We are Arnold & Wadsworth a Utah Law Firm that specializes in the area of family law. Give us a call for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, I does not. You have to file a request to terminate hid parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The Court will always consider what is in the best interests of your child. Abandonment is a basis to restrict his residential time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No. given the limited facts you stated, being out of contact does not "automatically" terminate a parent's custody/visitation rights. However, the longer the father does not contact you or the children, the harder it will become in the future to simply resume the same type of visitation he had prior to, as you said, "abandoning" the family. I.e., if at some point in the future simply shows up and says he wants to spend time with the kids, that may not be in their "best interests." Many factors should be considered. If you don't allow him to simply step back in, he can file a motion with the court seeking visitation, and the court will establish a parenting plan that is in the children's "best interests." "Best interests" is a legal term of art that as said, encompasses many factors.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You don't automatically use your parental rights. Someone would have to file to terminate parental rights, and unless there is another person willing to adopt, it isn't likely. His immigration status isn't relevant.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/31/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    He doesn't "lose rights" by walking away. He can be sued for child support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/31/2011
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