Can a text message be legally binding in a custody case?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Covington, KY

My daughters father had agreed in May of this year to sign over his rights via text message, he then disappeared before anything could be finalized, as in a DNA test. Recently his new girlfriend has started contacting me asking when they get to see my daughter, stating that he has tried daily to see his daughter but I refuse, I still have not heard from him since May 9, 2012. She is now asking about having a DNA test, which I have been trying to achieve since Feb. and he hasn't been located. He has a history of mental illnesses (anger issues, bipolar disorder, severe ADHD) to the point where he was receiving a SSI check, in the event that the text message is not legally binding, the state manages to find him, and we finally have the DNA, is that enough to ask for no visitation?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Michael William Bouldin

    Contributor Level 14

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    Answered . Unlikely that you can terminate rights via text; even if proven to be his and authentic.
    It can be used as evidence that he has no interest in being a parent and ultimately to the best interest of your child.

    Kentucky law does not certify specialty of practice in this area. The advice given herein is informational and... more
  2. Mary Katherine Brown

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . No, a text message isn't going to be "legally binding" on anyone in the above-described scenario. If the father has a mental condition that may cause safety concerns during visits, the usual solution will be to have supervised visits. I suggest you arrange a confidential consultation with a local attorney as soon as possible for further advice and suggestions on how to proceed with this delicate situation. You can find local attorneys by searching among the profiles here on Avvo. Good luck!

    I hope you found this answer helpful and if so, please let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button at the bottom of this answer. It’s easy and appreciated.

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@... more
  3. John E. Schlosser

    Contributor Level 11

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    Answered . It is unlikely that your ex's text message would be binding. In order for a parent to to have their rights terminated, a court has be involved. You would need to file a motion, and your ex would be a necessary party. If he now objects to a termination of his rights, the court will likely ignore the text. The fact that he has mental health issues alone is not likely to be sufficient for a court. You need to speak with a family law attorney in your area to determine your chances of terminating his rights.

    Nothing in this communication should be construed as creating an attorney client relationship. This is for... more

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