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Kenneth A. Rathert

Kenneth Rathert’s Answers

12 total


  • Stepson 33. Givens bio moms name at birth. father died. Stepmom wants to adopt stepson and give him fathers last name.

    Has a sealed YTA from 16 years ago. Does this have any effect on name change?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    This can be done in Michigan as an adult adoption. As long as the stepmother and the stepson (33) consent, it is relatively easy. See my website and go to adult adoption. www.RathertLaw.com.

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  • Wanting to adopt my neice? Whats next?

    I have had guardship of my neice for seven months in which the custodial parent signed off on. Recently, I discovered that both parents are willing to give up their parental rights so I can adopt her? Problem is I dont know what to do next. I dont...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    I agree that you should get an adoption attorney. As far as costs go, you may be able to get back, dollar-for-dollar, every dollar you spend on this adoption up to $12,970. This is called the adoption tax credit. So the net cost, after the adoption tax credit, may be zero. But remember, it costs $200,000 or so to raise a child and even more to put him or her through college.

    I suggest you look for an attorney who is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

    Good luck!!!

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  • Forced paternity test

    what kind of evidence or proof would a female need in order to get a court order for me to take a paternity test

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Probably none, but I need more facts. Please give me a call and we can discuss it.

    Ken Rathert
    Kalamazoo, MI
    269-349-6808

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  • How do u go about getting rights removed so my husband can adopt?

    He's always been behind on child support. I've gotten his visitations removed because he was so inceonsent. And he has not seen him in over a year.

    Kenneth’s Answer

    You need an adoption lawyer. In Michigan, if there is substantially no contact for two years and substantial non-compliance with a support order for two years, you can probably get his rights terminated without his consent. With his consent, it is easier to do so. Go to the adoption section of my web site and read the part on step parent adoptions. I would be happy to help you on this.
    RathertLaw.com

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  • Can my fiance adopt my daughter while her father is in prison?

    me and my fiance been together for five years since my daughter was 1 her father been in prison before she was born do we have to be married for him to adopt

    Kenneth’s Answer

    No. In Michigan, you must be married first to do a step-parent adoption. Also, you must have the father's rights terminated.

    After you get married, you should retain an adoption attorney. To read about the process, you can go to my web site: www.rathertlaw.com and look under adoption and then step parent adoption.

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  • What are the tax write offs for adoption?

    I'm in the process of adopting a child, and the bills are starting to get a little expensive. Do I get any tax write offs for adopting a child, besides claiming them as a dependent?

    Kenneth’s Answer

    Adoptive parents may qualify for a tax credit for adoption-related expenses of up to $13,360 (for 2011) and $12,650 (for 2012). In other words, if you spend $12,650 on this adoption, you may get $12,650 back as a tax credit on your federal income tax return. If you do not pay enough taxes to get all the credit back in one year, you can carry over the tax credit for up to an additional five years. You may also be entitled to a tax credit from your state (but not Michigan starting in 2012) and, sometimes reimbursement from your employer.

    Ken Rathert--adoption attorney, Kalamazoo, MIchigan

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  • What do we have to do to adopt from siblings with permission from both parents, baby is due in late August

    My daughter is pregnant and would like my other daughter to adopt the baby, the father of the child has agreed to this. What can we do to make this easy, quick and affordable

    Kenneth’s Answer

    I agree completely with Attorney Phelps.

    You can read about relative adoptions on my web site: www.rathertlaw.com.

    You can also read about the adoption tax credit, for which your adopting daughter may be eligible. This is up to $12,650 for adoptions completed in 2012. Because of the tax credit, most of my clients get all the money they pay doing an adoption back, dollar for dollar. The tax credit does apply to relative adoptions, but not to step-parent or adult adoptions.

    In any case, your daughter that is going to adopt should definitely contact an adoption attorney.

    Ken Rathert
    Kalamazoo, Michigan

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  • How to aquire guardianship of my nephew when my mother passes ?

    My mother and her husband adopted my special needs nephew. When my mother passes she would like me to assume guardianship of my nephew but her husband dose not. Unfortunatly, he is unsuitable for the role of caretaker. Being afraid of angering her...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    As you state the problem, this will be very difficult. Your father is now the legal father. His rights will be paramount unless you have grounds to terminate or suspend them. Being "unsuitable for the role of caretaker" is not sufficient grounds to do either. This true even if your mother does express her desire in her will for you to have a guardianship. Why didn't you, rather than your parents, adopt the boy in the first place?

    It sounds like you and your mother and your need some help communicating. Perhaps a family counselor would be best. But, if you want to seek a legal solution, when the time comes, i.e. when your mother dies, you should consult an attorney.

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  • My husband wants to legally adopt my two year old daughter. We have been married for a lil over a year. What can we do?

    Her dad had a CSC charge for messing around with a four year old and is currently in prison for selling weed. When I dated her dad, my kids were removed from my care.(Once he was in custody, my children were returned) If he can't be around kids, h...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You should get a lawyer and file for a step parent adoption. Your lawyer will also have to file a supplemental petition to terminate the father's rights. It will be based on whether he has had much contact within the last two years and whether he has paid support during that time. I do these all the time. Your case sounds very strong. You should read on my web site about step parent adoptions. www.rathert.law.com. Go to adoptions and then step parent adoptions.

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  • Can i adopt my step daughters without mother's consent?

    The mother had lost custody in 2007 due to the children being found dependant,neglected,and abused. She has had contact one time in two years with the youngest child. The mother has been court ordered not to fight for custody of them anymore in ...

    Kenneth’s Answer

    In Michigan, you can terminate the non-custodial parent's right and do a step parent adoption if you can proove that for the last two years there has been substantially no contact and substantially no support. Based on what you have written, you can prevail. See my web site and look under step parent adoptions for more details. www.rathertlaw.com. I do such adoptions all over Michigan and would be happy to help you.

    Ken Rathert
    Kalamazoo, MI

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