How can I get the father of my child to sign over his paternal rights? 28 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I am not married nor have I ever been. The father of the child wants to be involved in the its life and wants custody. However, I honestly believe it is dangerous to allow him to have a part in the child's life given his past history. I did not know the dangerous extent of his past until well after I found out I was pregnant. How can I get him to sign over his rights so that he cannot try and take my child?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
There is nothing you can do to force him to give up any parental rights. However, if there is no court order in effect that gives the father specific rights, he doesn't have any rights other than going to court and asking the court to give him specific rights. Until one of you files a court action, you have complete control and do not have to allow him any involvement.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/7/2012
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
You have a right to terminate the parental rights of the father. However, this is not generously granted without a strong basis because the Court will consider the best interests of the child. Usually, abandonment is a basis for the termination of parental rights or abuse.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/23/2012
Burnett Evans Banks
Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
First, since you were not married to your child's father, paternity must be established by a court before the father really has any "parental rights". Terminating someones parental rights is an extremely drastic measure that the court will not take lightly. Absent abuse or neglect toward this child, the most common method is when a parent voluntarily consents to a step-parent adoption, wherein a new step-parent fills their shoes. Step-parent adoption can happen even without the biological parent's consent, if it is found to be in the child's best interest, such as where the bio-parent has abandoned the child. These are serious issues and you really should speak with a lawyer experienced in these matters.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/23/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
Only by doing a step-parent adoption. You may want to file against him for custody and visitation to so you can present your case to a judge, get a lawyer or consultation first.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/23/2012
Lombardi Law LLC
Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
In Alaska, in order for a parent to sign over their parental rights they would have to do so voluntarily and do it through the courts. If he wants custody you would be well served to hire an attorney to make sure that you have full legal and physical custody so that he has as little as possible contact with your child. An attorney can guide you through this custody process.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 8/23/2012
    Attorney at Law | John P. Rivers
    A biological father who is not the legal father cannot be made to sign over his rights. He has a constitutionally protected interest in his children that must be terminated by a court order unless he agrees. He is entitled to notice and an opportunity to be heard. Cases such as these are generally pursued in the Juvenile Court or if a party marries in the context of a stepparent adoption. Talk with your lawyer about this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    It depends upon the facts and I need a lot more before giving advice.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/26/2013
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Push for child support current and past. If it goes to court push his history. Best bet is to talk with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    First of all what you honestly believe is not the standard that any court would use to determine his rights as the father. But to answer your question, just about nothing. If and only if the father was willing to sign over his parental rights and if and only if you possibly married and your new husband wished to adopt at the same time you might have a chance of it happening.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You can't - the law doesn't allow a father to sign over his rights. You should retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to file a Paternity case under the Uniform Parentage Act, to seek Child Custody and Child Support orders.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    You can't under the facts given.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    It looks as though you and the child are stuck with the choice you made. So long as he is seeing, or trying to see, the child and so long as he is providing support, parental rights cannot be terminated under the circumstances you describe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    Well, if he does not want to sign you are not going to be able to force him to sign his rights. Also, it is very difficult to terminate parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    You cannot make his sign over his rights.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    You cannot force the father to relinquish his rights, unless you are remarried and the father has not paid support for one year or not had any contact with the child for one year. Right now, you have sole custody by law as an unmarried mother. To obtain parenting time or to try to obtain custody or shared parenting, the father will have to file in juvenile court.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You cannot force him to give up his parental rights, but until he has filed a Petition with the court, he has no rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You cannot force a person to terminate their parental rights. It is a fundamental right and, as such, it is one that courts view as important and hich requires a great deal of evidence of endangerment to terminate.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    The only way you can force him to sign over his rights is through a termination proceeding in court. A judge may order supervised visitation or other accommodations rather than taking away his parental rights, especially if your child's father sincerely wishes to be a part of his child's life. The law assumes people can and do change, and just because he has a criminal record does not mean he is not entitled to a relationship with his child, or that he is relieved of his responsibility to pay child support. This is not something you can tackle on your own. Go see a lawyer experienced in custody matters. If your ex is still dangerous and a threat to his child, whatever legal fees you pay will be money well spent.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    You have to go to Court and get legal custody of your child and court ordered child support. If the father is as dangerous as you believe, ask to court to only allow him supervised visitation. If he subsequently fails to pay child support, you may seek to terminate his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    His rights can be terminated by two ways: 1) he voluntarily relinquishes them; 2) he has no contact for 6 months and you file for someone else to adopt your child as a step-parent. Either way your rights remain unaffected but he no longer would have any!
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    In PA you can not terminate one parents rights unless there is someone in place ready, willing and able to adopt. However, a year ago the custody statute changed and now requires the court to consider criminal history of a parent. You should consult with and retain an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    If he refuses to voluntarily sign over his rights, you would have to take him to court, and have a judge decide if it was in your child's best interest, but you would have to have tangible proof that he was a danger to the child. Otherwise he would be able to have timesharing with the child.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    You will need a Court Order to terminate parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    You cannot legally force him to terminate his rights. Of course, that does not mean he will obtain custody. Since you were never married, the father must file with the court to receive any time with the child.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    There is no such thing. Unless someone else adopts the child, a child has a right to be supported that neither you nor the father can waive.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    It's a common misperception that a parent may terminate his own parental rights these is no basis in the law for such an occurrence to happen unless there is someone else willing to step his his shoes to take on that responsibility. A parent has a legal obligation to support his child whether he wants to see that child or not. The only circumstances in which parental rights are terminated is if the biological father agrees to allow someone else adopt his child and take on the financial responsibility of raising that child i.e. an adopt has to occur and the father may then surrender his rights. The state may also act to terminate parental rights in a dependency proceeding, i.e. the State takes custody of the child arguing that both parents are unfit. Theses are he only two circumstance where a Father may terminate his own rights.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Let's start with the basics: If he has not been to court and gained visitation or shared parenting, he has no rights. And he has no rights until he goes to court ant the court recognizes his paternity and awards specific visitation or rights. You may cut him off at any time by calling the police IN OHIO and refusing to let him have time with the child. If he petitions the court for a recognition of paternity and modification of custody or visitation establishment, then you can tell the court about his background and ask for supervised parenting. Please see a family lawyer before this blows up to get proper counseling on how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/23/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney