cs1192

do i have a right to seek legal counsel before a hearing/ signing away paternal rights.

8 posts in this topic

The biological father of my child told me to get an abortion during the early months of my pregnancy. He would tell me things like "consider your options" and when i would ask him to clarify, he would say, "you need to consider abortion or adoption". When I got farther into my pregnancy he would push adoption. When I asked him what he planned on as far as involvement with my child goes, and he said he didn't plan on being involved because he's not ready to have kids.

I got over it pretty fast because i had met somebody early on in my pregnancy who has been the father to my child ever since. I would like the biological father to sign away his rights so the person who actually acts as the father and who my child knows as their dad can adopt her.

recently, i had received a letter saying all of a sudden i have to appear in court for a child support hearing. (the state filed on my behalf since i receive state assistance)

but i didn't want any of this and neither did the biological father. how can i skip the hassle of establishing child support and just have the biological father sign away all paternal rights?

my second question regarding this situation is, do i have a legal right to seek counsel before said hearing?

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One of the conditions for receiving public assistance is you must identify and cooperate with the child support enforcement agency in obtaining a child support order from the biological father.  If you don't want them to obtain an order and collect child support to reimburse the government for the aid they've provided for the child, you have to get off aid.  As to terminating bio dad's rights, are you married to this other man?  If not, forget it for the time being.  Courts are not inclined to let dad off the hook in favor of a man who isn't in a stable marriage with the mother.  Get married and after at least a year of wedded bliss, then you should consult a local family law attorney that handles step-parent adoptions. 

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no i am not married, but the whole issue of my child being able to be adopted is my ultimate goal for the future. But my big issue as of now is, while i was pregnant he was all for choosing adoption and not wanting legal responsibility of a child, (or any responsibility of a child for that matter.) And I am 100% on board for that. My number 1 reason I want termination of his parental rights so quickly and as soon as possible, is because, I want to avoid a situation down the line when my child is older where all of a sudden he decides he wants to be in her life and then leave again. I had a father that did exactly that and it was just, emotionally draining, stressful, and painful.. especially at the very young age that I had to go through that. I just want to do the best possible thing for my child and that is to keep the healthy consistency and love that is in my child's life right now. I want to make sure that the "in and out disney parenting" kind of stuff is nipped in the bud.

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Child support and visitation are two different things.  Paying it doesn't get him visitation and not paying it doesn't deny him the right to seek it or enforce it IF he gets a court order.  BUT, he'd have to separately petition the court for it.  If he's not interested, he won't bother.  Should he seek visitation, you can fight that but neither the court nor the child support enforcement agency is going to go along with you terminating his parental rights because to do so also gets him off the hook for child support.  You signed over your rights to receive child support when you signed up for aid, so you don't have the power to terminate that as long as you are getting that aid.    

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no i am not married, but the whole issue of my child being able to be adopted is my ultimate goal for the future. But my big issue as of now is, while i was pregnant he was all for choosing adoption and not wanting legal responsibility of a child, (or any responsibility of a child for that matter.) And I am 100% on board for that. My number 1 reason I want termination of his parental rights so quickly and as soon as possible, is because, I want to avoid a situation down the line when my child is older where all of a sudden he decides he wants to be in her life and then leave again. I had a father that did exactly that and it was just, emotionally draining, stressful, and painful.. especially at the very young age that I had to go through that. I just want to do the best possible thing for my child and that is to keep the healthy consistency and love that is in my child's life right now. I want to make sure that the "in and out disney parenting" kind of stuff is nipped in the bud.

 

This is simple.

 

You want state aid you cooperate with the authorities and get child support.

 

You want what you want, then get off of state aid.

 

Although I suspect that you don't have the option of cancelling the hearing since you've already collected some state aid unless, of course, you want to give it all back.

 

You can't have it both ways.

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To learn more about this subject matter, you may visit the Family Law Center as a good resource. If you have not done so already, you may want to consult with a local Family Law Lawyer to advise you on how to proceed concerning your specific situation. Many lawyers do offer a free consultation.

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I got over it pretty fast because i had met somebody early on in my pregnancy who has [acted in the role of a] father to my child ever since. I would like the . . . father to sign away his rights so the person who actually acts as the father and who my child knows as their dad can adopt her.

 

As noted above, subject to the particulars of the laws in your unidentified state, since you're not married to the man in question, it may be extremely difficult or impossible for him to adopt (even if the child's father agrees to the adoption).

 

 

 

recently, i had received a letter saying all of a sudden i have to appear in court for a child support hearing. (the state filed on my behalf since i receive state assistance)  but i didn't want any of this and neither did the biological father. how can i skip the hassle of establishing child support and just have the biological father sign away all paternal rights?

 

You can't.  You sought public assistance, and, unless you want to pay it back, the state has the right to seek reimbursement from the child's father.  This almost certainly was explained in documentation from the agency that provided the assistance.

 

 

 

my second question regarding this situation is, do i have a legal right to seek counsel before said hearing?

 

Of course.  Did you really think the answer might be otherwise?

 

 

 

My number 1 reason I want termination of his parental rights so quickly and as soon as possible, is because, I want to avoid a situation down the line when my child is older where all of a sudden he decides he wants to be in her life and then leave again.

 

You cannot get the father's rights terminated except in connection with an adoption by someone else.  You cannot get it done in anticipation that, at some unknown point in the future, you might get married to someone who will be willing to adopt.

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I just keep getting different answers from both people who work in DHHS and from people who have previously been in similar situations as mine. I know somebody in my state who the father of their child DID sign away parental/ custodial rights. When I spoke to somebody at a university legal department they said that such papers for termination of rights without a connecting adoption have happened before. Although, many forums i've looked at and things I've researched have contradicted what some officials have told me previously. My state I guess, either doesn't have a very good system defining legal guardianship, or policies have changed in the past few years or so.

Also I know that these questions I've asked have drastically different answers depending on state/ region... So that probably doesn't help either.

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