Questions and Answers

Can I get the courts to relinquish parental rights on the grounds of abandonment?

I want to relinquish my ex-husbands parental rights after 5 years of no contact/abandonment. He was recently served child support papers after 2 years of avoiding being served. A masters hearing was scheduled but cancelled due to his requesting genetic testing. Can I still relinquish his rights?

Answer

The Court is most concerned with the best interests of the child. Therefore, unless someone else (ex: step father) is willing to adopt the child, the Court will continue to require the biological father to pay child support. While there is no connection between child support and access time with a child, the father will always have the right to ask for time with the child and the Court will consider it if and only if it is the child’s best interests.

Termination of parental rights (TPR) is VERY different then a child visitation order that forbids contact with the child. A TPR case is a very serious matter involving facts of child abuse and/or extreme neglect. You may want to discuss the differences with a lawyer before you pursue this action.

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