Is it considered abandonment if I do not let me see my child? 34 Answers as of May 30, 2013

I have been paying child support but just have chosen not to see my child. The divorce papers say we have joint custody, can she charge me with abandonment since I have not seen my child in a few months?

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Snake River Law PLLC
Snake River Law PLLC | Mark Petersen
Abandonment in Idaho is defined as failing to maintain a normal parent child relationship or failing to support a child. Failing to see the child, maintain contact with the child, and be a father is failing to maintain a normal parent child relationship. If this continues for a significant period of time (1 year is prima facie evidence of abandonment), then the mother will have grounds to seek termination of your parental rights for abandonment. There is no criminal charge for abandonment so you cannot be "charge[d] with abandonment" but you may get your parental rights terminated.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 3/5/2012
Law Office of James Bordonaro
Law Office of James Bordonaro | James Albert Bordonaro
Kansas law requires that you not have supported the child in the past 2 years. Support is now broad concept that includes money, affection, visitation, letters and other things affecting the parent child relationship. The court can disregard incidental contacts and small amounts of money if the mother wishes to terminate your rights. She can also request sole custody if you are shown to be an unfit parent.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 3/5/2012
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC
Ipson Law Firm, PLLC | Michael Ipson
She could allege you have abandoned the child request that the decree be modified to grant her more custody but that would be expensive and there no guarentee it would work Especially, since you have been paying support. If you want to avoid these problems go and see your child.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 3/2/2012
Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
There is no such thing in Michigan as a "charge of abandonment." If you choose not to exercise your custody time or parenting time, that is your prerogative. However, if you continue not to exercise the time, you run the risk of losing your right to that time in the future.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/2/2012
Attorney & Counselor at Law
Attorney & Counselor at Law | John Hugger
It is best for you to have a relationship with your child; every child needs a father and mother. Additionally your child support payment will increase because of your failure to spend overnight parenting time with your child. Why not be a good parent to your child? Do not take your frustration with the other parent by neglecting your child! Consult with an attorney ASAP!
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    No she can not. As long as you pay the child support you have not abandoned the child.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    She can go back to court and file a modification, and have your visitation reduced if you continue to avoid visitation with your child.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    No , but if you continue to not see your child, you Amy experience negative repercussions in the future.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    No she cannot claim abandonment. As long as you support your child and maintain some ongoing contact with your child, the mother will not be in a position to argue you should lose your parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    If you choose not to have a normal parental relationship with your child for 1 year it can constitute abandonment. The payment of support alone may not be sufficient to avoid a claim of abandonment.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/2/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    The term "abandonment" is more often used in juvenile court, not family court. In any event, if you do not exercise parenting time with the child, you run the risk of the court modifying your parenting time and/or a loss of joint custody.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Parents don't abandon their children. If you want visitation, ask for it.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Abandonment is a cause of action for divorce, not child custody, though a parent may claim it as a basis for a change in custody. That said, the legal definition of abandonment in Texas is that you voluntarily remained away for a period f 1 year or more with the intent not to return.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    McIlveen Family Law Firm
    McIlveen Family Law Firm | Angela McIlveen
    When a parent abandons a child it can make it more difficult for the parent to see the child or to get custody of the child. It can also be a reason to modify a child custody order or agreement that is already in place. Additionally, under N.C.G.S. 7B-1111, abandonment is grounds for termination of parental rights. The burden to prove abandonment is on the petitioner or movant to prove the facts justifying termination of a parent's rights by clear and convincing evidence. The bottom line is that parents who choose not to act as parents with regards to visitation and paying child support risk losing their rights as a parent. You should always consult an attorney about the specific facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    J.W.Poprawa, Attorney at Law | Joseph W. Poprawa
    Abandonment consists of failing to support. Not having contact may eventually affect your parenting time but is not considered abandonment.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    Under the law of Washington state, the court could find you in contempt of court for not exercising the visitation per the court ordered schedule. The Wife could also modify the court order to limit or eliminate your right to future visitation if you failed to exercise your visitation for an extended period of time. Neither of those events would terminate you obligation to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    I doubt that a court will consider it abandonment, so long as you are paying child support. You have the right to visitation as ordered by the court, but you can choose not to exercise that right at any given time.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    There is no criminal charge. So if your question is can she use the failure to see the child as a reason to terminate your parental rights, I don't think that is enough. A few months absence is not that remarkable. You must make a decision to be part of this child's life or not. If you decide not, then see if the mother would like to have her new husband adopt and you can sign off and stop paying child support. If she isn't married then you will continue to be obligated until the child reaches adulthood.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If you don't see your child, the Court will likely award 100% custody to the mother at time of trial (or if she files an OSC to modify child custody). A father who won't participate in a child's life does not deserve to have any legal or physical custody. Also, since child support is based on your income, the mother's income, and the custodial timeshare, your child support will be set at the highest amount based on your not exercising your custodial rights ... and having no de facto child custody. You and your child would be better off to establish a healthy father-child relationship, for many reasons.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Generally, your question doesn't allow an answer because "abandonment" is only legally relevant to whether an adoption could be allowed over your objection. So, your ex can obviously "charge" you with abandonment, but without knowing how & why she might do that, it isn't possible to know if it means anything.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc | Lynda Leblanc
    I have been asked this question too many time to count in the last few months. The only way a person can be charged with abandonment is if they are criminally charged for child abuse or neglect. The court cannot force any parent to exercise the parenting time he or she is entitled to under a custody/parenting time order (in a divorce decree, paternity order or subsequent order). The court can however, force a custodial parent to allow the non-custodial parent the ability to exercise his or her parenting time as ordered. Part of your child support is based on the amount of overnights you care for your child. Your ex-wife can petition the court to modify child support based on the fact that you are not exercising your parenting time, and therefore should no longer receive credit for overnights. There are certain provisions under the adoption statutes that provide specific circumstances where a parent's consent to the adoption (step-parent or otherwise) is not required. However, since you are still providing financial support to the child these do not apply. However, if you continue not to have contact with your child and get behind on child support, they may apply in the future. The only other way that I see that the "abandonment" could come up, is if DCS gets involved. Then you would get notice from DCS of their involvement and of any hearing dates. If you do not cooperate with DCS or appear at the hearings, your parental rights could be terminated. So the simple answer is no, she cannot charge you with abandonment, however, your actions do have certain consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Abandonment usually has more to do with financial support, so it's unlikely that there can be criminal abandonment charges. However, the fact that you have not seen your child could have an effect on future civil custody, visitation, or child support cases. SInce you did not provide the context of your situation or the reason you are asking the question, I recommend that you have a consultation with a family law attorney about the specific facts of your situation and what exactly your concerns are.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, she cannot charge you with abandonment but she could ask the court to consider support. If the court gave you a time share and based support on the time you were seeing or were to see the children and you are not keeping this time, then the court can adjust your support. Your time would be decreased to 0% and the support could go up.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    You ex-spouse could file a Complaint for Modification seeking sole legal custody of your child claiming that you do not participate in your child's life, do not see your child and are not involved with any of the deicisions concerning the rearing of your child. It is not abandonment. Your ex know where you are and receives child support from you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    Generally, yes. Abandonment is ground for termination of parental rights, although it is unlikely she would move to terminate your paretal rights if your child support is helpful to her. Other than in CPS cases, there is no child support after termination. The bigger issue is why are you not seeing your child by choice.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    HADJIAN LAW P.C. | ZARI HADJIAN
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    No. If you are supporting your child financially, then you have not abandoned that child.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Yahima Suarez, A Law Firm, PL | YAHIMA SUAREZ
    It would not be called abandonment and you will not lose your rights of seeing your child. However, if the case is taken in front of the judge, a judge will not see it well that you have "chosen" not to see your child. I do not know your reasons for not seeing the child, but if they are legal, you should taken them to court. At the end, the only want you are affecting is your child because he is being raised without a father. Money along does not make you a good father. It is recommended you build again a good relationship with your child for the sake of your own child, not just for legal purposes. A judge is always going to give you another chance for your relationship with the child to be rebuilt as long a you have not done anything that would put the child's health or safety in danger.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Kiske Law Office, LLC | Anne Kiske
    It is usually not a good idea to just stop seeing your child. Has the mother interfered with your visitation? If she has, you need to pursue an action against her - either a family access motion, a contempt motion or a modification. When you make an appointment to discuss this with a lawyer, you should take the judgment that is currently in place and be prepared to discuss, in detail, the reasons you are not visiting and the last time you visited.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Alan J. Pransky | Alan J. Pransky
    As long as you are paying child support you have not abandoned the child. Lack of visitation is harmful to the child. However, the following argument really doesn't make sense. "He should have no visits since he hasn't visited." If the other parent wants you to visit the child, then taking away your visitation rights seems counterproductive.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 3/1/2012
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