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  1. #1
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    Signing over parental rights

    I live in North Carolina. My husband and I have been separated for three years now and we have a two year old son. Since my son's birth I might have received three hundred dollars from him in child support. He is only ordered to pay fifty dollars a month (which is behind on) because he has no job and he is a drug addict and a criminal. Added to that, he rarely calls or visits my son. I received no call at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I plan to get a divorce by March of next year. The reason being is that I plan to move to Washington state where my fiance is in the navy there. What I want is for my ex to sign over his parental rights so when I am married my husband can adopt my son and he can have his last name. This is in the best interest for my son because he will receive military benefits such as college and insurance. However, my ex refuses to sign over his rights. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and whether there is any legal action I can take. Thank you for your responses and advice.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakers1130 View Post
    I live in North Carolina. My husband and I have been separated for three years now and we have a two year old son. Since my son's birth I might have received three hundred dollars from him in child support. He is only ordered to pay fifty dollars a month (which is behind on) because he has no job and he is a drug addict and a criminal. Added to that, he rarely calls or visits my son. I received no call at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I plan to get a divorce by March of next year. The reason being is that I plan to move to Washington state where my fiance is in the navy there. What I want is for my ex to sign over his parental rights so when I am married my husband can adopt my son and he can have his last name. This is in the best interest for my son because he will receive military benefits such as college and insurance. However, my ex refuses to sign over his rights. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and whether there is any legal action I can take. Thank you for your responses and advice.
    Once you have been married for a while,(a minimum of a year) and dad meets the statutory definition of abandonment regarding the child, then it might be possible to involuntarily terminate dad's parental rights so that your husband can adopt the child.

    However, abandonment means no contact at all, including no child support. One child support payment or one telephone call can be enough to take abandonment off the table.
  3. #3
    OhReally? is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    However, abandonment means no contact at all, including no child support. One child support payment or one telephone call can be enough to take abandonment off the table.
    That is not true in several states, in regards to the words I bolded.
    It would be more responsible to direct the poster to the statutes in NC regarding adoption, abandonment et al as it relates to children.
  4. #4
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhReally? View Post
    That is not true in several states, in regards to the words I bolded.
    It would be more responsible to direct the poster to the statutes in NC regarding adoption, abandonment et al as it relates to children.
    Assuming that its NC with jurisdiction and that NC would still have jurisdiction for the purposes of adoption some time in the future. That is why I didn't direct her to any state statutes, but gave her a more general answer. This is something that will happen down the road if it happens at all.
  5. #5
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Assuming that its NC with jurisdiction and that NC would still have jurisdiction for the purposes of adoption some time in the future. That is why I didn't direct her to any state statutes, but gave her a more general answer. This is something that will happen down the road if it happens at all.
    But Ld's answer is more the correct answer in most states, and the "if it happens at all" is a BIG if.

    I would caution one that is still married with a 2 year old, who already has a fiance and isn't even divorced yet. Talking about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. If I were the judge, I sure wouldn't be granting this adoption for a VERY LONG TIME.
  6. #6
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakers1130 View Post
    I live in North Carolina. My husband and I have been separated for three years now and we have a two year old son. Since my son's birth I might have received three hundred dollars from him in child support. He is only ordered to pay fifty dollars a month (which is behind on) because he has no job and he is a drug addict and a criminal. Added to that, he rarely calls or visits my son. I received no call at Christmas or Thanksgiving. I plan to get a divorce by March of next year. The reason being is that I plan to move to Washington state where my fiance is in the navy there. What I want is for my ex to sign over his parental rights so when I am married my husband can adopt my son and he can have his last name. This is in the best interest for my son because he will receive military benefits such as college and insurance. However, my ex refuses to sign over his rights. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar problem and whether there is any legal action I can take. Thank you for your responses and advice.
    Why haven't you sought a divorce for 3 years? Right now, you are legally still married & your husband has equal Rights to the child. He may be ordered to pay child support- but that doesn't mean he would even be charged with Abandonment of a child he's still married to the mother of.

    Get divorced. Pursue a Child Custody/visitation Order. Provide proper notice (per NC state guidelines) to move-away out of state. It's up the Judge whether you will allowed to remove the child from NC's Jurisdiction. (usually that decision is based on the Child's Best Interests, as opposed to the Parent's Best Interest).

    IF all of that is accomplished legally...and THEN Dad meets NC Abandonment guidelines...you can petition the courts to TPR (Terminate Parental Rights) of the father & then petition to have your new husband adopt your son. There is A LOT involved in a TPR...and it is absolutely a Last Resort. This is to prevent women from Daddy-Shopping & changing the legal Rights & Responsibilities of parents on a whim.
  7. #7
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for all of your respnses. Let me clarify a few things. My husband and I have technically been separated for going on 5 years now. I left my husband because he was and still is a drug addict who can't hold a job or a place to live. About 2 years after the separation I had relations with him once out of stupidity and got pregnant. But in the eyes of the law that would mean that we have only been separated for 3 years. I met my fiance not long after I got pregnant and he has been with me ever since until he got called into the service. As I said, my ex pays almost nothing in child support and my fiance has done more for my son than my he has. As a matter of fact my son calls my fiance who we will call "tom" daddy when he sees a picture of him. Tom calls and talks to him on the phone and always sends him gifts from overseas. Not only that, as the son of a military officer my son will get many benefits including health insurance and college. About the divorce issue, I just haven't had the money to get an attorney. I first plan on getting the divorce then after I get remarried I plan to persue the TPR. I just wanted to know what kind of actions I could take if he does not voluntarily sign the papers, especially considering I will be in Washington.
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    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    If I were you, I'd stop having your son call someone other than his father "daddy." "Tom" is not his father and a court WILL look down on that. If your ex decides to make this an issue, it WILL be an issue and you can be accused of alienation.
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    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakers1130 View Post
    Thank you for all of your respnses. Let me clarify a few things. My husband and I have technically been separated for going on 5 years now. I left my husband because he was and still is a drug addict who can't hold a job or a place to live. About 2 years after the separation I had relations with him once out of stupidity and got pregnant. But in the eyes of the law that would mean that we have only been separated for 3 years. I met my fiance not long after I got pregnant and he has been with me ever since until he got called into the service. As I said, my ex pays almost nothing in child support and my fiance has done more for my son than my he has. As a matter of fact my son calls my fiance who we will call "tom" daddy when he sees a picture of him. Tom calls and talks to him on the phone and always sends him gifts from overseas. Not only that, as the son of a military officer my son will get many benefits including health insurance and college. About the divorce issue, I just haven't had the money to get an attorney. I first plan on getting the divorce then after I get remarried I plan to persue the TPR. I just wanted to know what kind of actions I could take if he does not voluntarily sign the papers, especially considering I will be in Washington.
    It doesn't matter if your X pays minimul child support- he still has not legally abandoned the child. Also, child support & visitation are 2 separate animals, you can't deny visitation just because he has not paid or is in arrearages on child support.

    The Daddy issue is going to bite you in the rear. Judge's DO NOT take kindly to people other than the child's parents being called Dad or Mom. You are also setting your son up for resentment/betrayal by allowing him to believe someone else is his father.
  10. #10
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    he doesn't call him daddy because i tell him to, he does it because his real father isn't around and that's the only one he knows.
  11. #11
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakers1130 View Post
    he doesn't call him daddy because i tell him to, he does it because his real father isn't around and that's the only one he knows.
    Then I would ask WHY he doesn't know what his father looks like? Do you not have any pictures of his father in the entire house?

    It really doesn't matter Why he calls him Daddy. If he called a horse a cow, would you just let him believe the horse was in fact a cow? Or would you explain it was a horse?
  12. #12
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    in no way do i deny visitations. his real father chooses not to come around. he's been told numerous times he can visit. he chooses not to call or come around. and i fully intend on telling him that my future husband isn't his real father so that some day, if he wants to find his real father is more than welcome. i can't control who my son feels closer to: his real father or someone who actually acts like a father to him.
  13. #13
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by casa View Post
    Then I would ask WHY he doesn't know what his father looks like? Do you not have any pictures of his father in the entire house?

    It really doesn't matter Why he calls him Daddy. If he called a horse a cow, would you just let him believe the horse was in fact a cow? Or would you explain it was a horse?

    i don't feel like my ex deserves for my son to call him daddy because he doesn't act like one. if he came around at all and wanted to be a father then yes i would encourage my son to call him daddy. but you have to earn the right to be called daddy.
  14. #14
    CourtClerk is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakers1130 View Post
    in no way do i deny visitations. his real father chooses not to come around. he's been told numerous times he can visit. he chooses not to call or come around. and i fully intend on telling him that my future husband isn't his real father so that some day, if he wants to find his real father is more than welcome. i can't control who my son feels closer to: his real father or someone who actually acts like a father to him.
    No, but you can control what your child calls people. For instance, my son used to call my neice his sister. I would tell him, no, that's your cousin. You keep telling him that and he'll get it.

    TOM IS NOT HIS FATHER and if I were you, I'd start correcting little Timmy now before it bites you in the butt. But you do what you want to do, but when Tom goes away, or the judge denys the adoption, then what? What happens if dad cleans up his act? Then what? What happens when you get your behind hauled into court for letting your son call some random man daddy? Then what's your LEGAL excuse going to be? What happens when Tom figures out the exact ramifications of adopting a child and leaving him on the hook for many many years for child support and decides he doesn't want to adopt the baby? Then what?
  15. #15
    hakers1130 is offline Junior Member
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    but, i'm really not trying to get into a debate on who my son calls daddy and why. all i want to know is if there is any legal action i can take to force my ex to sign over his rights for the benefit of my son considering he doesn't come around and he is a drug addict with a criminal record and i don't think i need to tell you that that's not benefitting my son in the least.
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