I have 2 daughters, one 14 years old and the other will be 11 years old in June. Both are from my previous marriage. Their biological father has not seen them in almost 7 years. The last time he had our oldest daughter, he ran her under a kitchen table due to a fight between his girlfriend and himself. He pays child support very rarely. He is almost $12,000 behind. He is in and out of court and jail for assaults on females and numerous of domestic violence charges. I am remarried and my daughters would like to have their last name changed and be adopted by my husband. (Which is Dad now) My husband has raised them for the past 8 years of their lives. Can I have their biological father's rights taken away completely?
Family Law Attorney
Unless he agrees, probably not, and even if he did, unless your new husband adopts them, your ex will still be on the hook for ongoing support (and will always owe the arrearages - that can't be fixed).
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If the father consents to an adoption, you can have his rights terminated through the adoption. If he will not consent to the adoption, you can attempt to have his rights terminated. You must prove abandonment on the father's part or at least one of the other statutory grounds for termination, and the court must find that the termination is in your daughters' best interest. You should consult with an attorney in your county about the possibilities.
Child Custody Lawyer
You need to consult with an attorney in your area to see what local judges will do in this situation. In N.C., one way to terminate a biological parents parental rights is to prove that it is in the best interest of the child and that the biological parent has abandoned the child and failed to pay child support as ordered. The court can consider the relationship between the child and the parent, the age of the child, and any relationship the child may have with a person seeking to adopt the child.