How do I terminate my spouse's rights from child custody? 5 Answers as of June 08, 2011

Do I need a lawyer to file the papers to terminate the parental rights of my child's father. I am originally from WA state but have since gotten married and moved to South Carolina. I know I have sole custody, but I want to terminate his potential rights. He is incarcerated had has been since 2 days after the birth of our son.

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Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
If your former spouse has a minimal relationship with your child, he might agree to relinquish his parental rights. Because of the jurisdictional issues involved, it would be a good idea to work with an attorney on this matter. S/he can contact your former spouse to begin the inquiry. Under certain circumstances, the court will terminate one's parental rights over his/her objection. However, this is a complex process, and the best way to proceed is with the help of an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/8/2011
Seattle Divorce Services
Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
Under Washington law (Washington may or may not have jurisdiction at this point - consult with an attorney in Washington about that issue), you could bring a petition to modify the parenting plan, if you have one. You can do it yourself, but you may be better off having an attorney at least draft the papers for you. You will need to show how the circumstances have changed since the parenting plan was entered that justify the change. If you never had any court orders entered, then likely South Carolina has jurisdiction and you would want to consult with an attorney there.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/3/2011
Law Office of Cindy Lin
Law Office of Cindy Lin | Cindy Lin
Whether you hire a lawyer for this is up to you. Because you live in another state, it may be worthwhile for you to hire a WA lawyer to appear on your behalf in proceedings against your child's father. In WA, you or your attorney can file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the father. Factors usually considered include how the parent-child relationship may affect the child's ability to integrate into a stable home life, involvement of the parent, etc.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/2/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
You don't say how long you've been in S.C.SC may have jurisdiction over this issue by now. Consult with a SC adoption attorney and he/she will know if SC has jurisdiction and what the process is. What you're asking to accomplish is not possible in WA unless someone adopts the child and takes on the father's responsibilities. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/2/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
If our current spouse is willing to adopt, terminating the father's parental rights is possible.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/2/2011
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