What should my husband do to keep his parental rights? 14 Answers as of May 10, 2013

My fiancé has a child in another state. The mother of his child has since re-married and the step father wants to adopt and terminate his paternal rights. My fiancé pays child support and loves his daughter, and wants to keep his rights to his child.

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Derek L. Hall, PLLC | Derek L. Hall
If the child was not born in Mississippi and Mississippi does not have jurisdiction over the child, then your husband should consult an attorney in the state that has jurisdiction over the child. In Mississippi, if your husband is paying support and has contact with the child, unless he is bad guy or voluntarily terminates his rights, then he would not likely have them terminated by a MS judge.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 5/9/2013
In many states, his parental rights cannot be terminated without his consent, or an order of the court. For a specific answer given his particular circumstances, consult a family law attorney in that state to make sure his rights are protected.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/9/2013
The Houser Law Firm, P.C.
The Houser Law Firm, P.C. | A. Bowden Houser
He should have regular visitation with the child and show up at the hearing. Paying child support and loving the child are meaningless in terms of his parental rights. How often he visits and the relationship he has with the child are whats important. In order to terminate his rights, the mother has to have substantial grounds and there has to be a hearing. The most common grounds are that the parent has had no contact with the child in several years. Other grounds would be that he is unfit to have contact with the child and / or he poses some sort of substantial risk of harm to the child. If he has not seen, spent time with or at least had some sort of contact with the child in years and /or if he fails to attend the hearing, there is a chance his rights could be terminated. However, if he has had some contact with the child and he attends the hearing, there are not may judges who would terminate his rights under those circumstances. However, if his rights are terminated he would no longer be obligated to pay child support.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 5/10/2013
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
File a Petition for Legitiation
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 5/9/2013
John Russo | John Russo
First of all did they ever establish custody, and placement orders? Most likely not most people believe that if they pay child support that handles all the other issues including custody, placement, and visitation, when in reality they are two(2) separate issues one has none to do with the other, what I mean is that a parent cannot withhold court ordered visitation if the other has not paid support, and a parent cannot withhold support if the other is not allowing them to visit, the old two (2) wrongs don't make a right. I don't believe there are orders here because of the fact that she is in a different state then he is, unless he was the one that moved , but if she did and there were orders as to custody and placement the court would not have allowed her to move. What he needs to do in the short is maintain contact and DOCUMENT it. Most states have abandonment statutes and they are all pretty much the same, in order for her new spouse to adopt she will have to have your rights terminated to do that she will have to meet at least a 2 prong test, the time frame may be different where she is but the standard should be the same, here in my jurisdiction RI, it is 6 months continuous, of both failure to support which you are OK with and 6 months of no contact, none , phone calls, gifts, etc. So he needs to send cards get prove of mailing you won't need certified as long as you get proof of mailing and it is a lot cheaper then certified, around $2, send gifts same way, call on cell phone and keep phone records of the outgoing calls things like that, also he should file a motion to establish custody, placement, and visitation, now on that see where the child support order emanated from if it is out of your state try filing there and then have her served in her home state.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 5/10/2013
    Salberg Murdock
    Salberg Murdock | Jeffrey D. Salberg
    He needs to actively enforce his rights. When was the last time he saw her? How old is his daughter? Is she old enough to travel alone by plane? What state has jurisdiction over the divorce? Is there a custody and parental time order on file? What does it say? Does your fiancee exercise his parental time rights? Many states have registries for father's to file information so an adoption cannot be acquired through fraudulent conduct. Contact an attorney in the state where his daughter resides and find out how to file with the registry.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
    Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
    If your fiance continues to pay regular child support and exercise parent time with his child, when he can, his parental rights should be safe from termination. If he cannot physically visit with the child, he should look at virtual parent time through facetime or Skype. He should also call the child regularly and send cards and letters for birthdays, Christmas, etc. He may also want to contact an attorney in the state where the mother lives to monitor whether or not any proceedings to adopt the child or to terminate the father's rights have been filed.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    If he objects to the step parent adoption and refuses to sign the consent form, then they shouldn't be able to proceed with the matter.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Under the facts presented it is very unlikely he will lose his rights or that the adoption will go through over his protest. However, if you snooze you loose.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    He needs to object to the adoption. He probably needs to hire an attorney in that state to make sure the court knows that he wants to remain his daughter's father. Also, if there is no custody order in place, he needs to take steps to get a custody order, probably in that state.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    In Nevada parental rights are can be terminated when the parent in question has not paid child support for more than six months and had no contact for more than six months. If the parent in question files an objection and/or shows up at the hearing rights are not generally terminated.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
    Then he should say no. If he pays child support and exercises visitation, there is no basis to terminate parental rights unless he is unfit.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Webster & Associates | Anita Webster
    He should contact an attorney in the state where his child lives since law differ from state to state but generally a termination is based upon no contact, no visitation and no child support payments. He should be regularly visiting her, contacting her (texts, e-mails), sending her presents, cards, regularly calling her and paying child support. This is informative only and is not a substittue for speaking to an attorney, nor does it constitute legal advise or create an attoney client relationship with Webster and Associates.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    He has no obligation nor can they force him to consent to the adoption. I would contact an attorney to determine and begin the process of establishing a regular visitation schedule.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/9/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney