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If the father of my child has not seen her in over 9 years when is it considered abandonment in texas?

Houston, TX |

The father of my child has not seen or made any contact with me or my child in over 9 years and has provided no type of support. No child support has been filed, how long until he is considered to have abandoned her. I have been married for over 8 years and my husband who has been in my childs life since she was 3 months old would like to adopt her. Or If I were to file for for child support would she have to visit him since she hasnt seen him in over 9 years she is 10 years old and does not know him.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

First, everything is a case by case basis. Although he hasn't seen her, he is still obligated to pay child support. Child support and visitation are different. Just because he hasn't seen her, he hasn't given away his parental rights - he is still legally her father. As far as visitation, unless he has done something cruel or abusive to her or maybe to you, then he would more than likely get visitation with her. I would contact the Attorney General of Texas to at least get child support, which you are entitled to get. From there, they can advise you on the visitation question. Their services are free of charge, but sometimes take a long time. There website is below. I'd also contact an attorney.

Good luck!

This is just an opinion, and is no way to take the place of an attorney that knows all the facts of the case. Therefore, I would seek an attorney's advice as soon as possible.

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Posted

If you and your husband decide to pursue a termination and adoption, then then the voluntarily lack of contact and lack of support by the biological parent is a grounds for an involuntary termination of parental rights. If you want support for the child, a case can still be filed, and when that Suit Affecting Parent Child Relationship is filed, all aspects of the parent-child relationship will be dealt with in that case - including parental rights and duties; apointment of joint or sole managing conservator(s); support for child - including providing health insurance for the child; and possession and access to the child by each parent. The child support can go back retroactively for some period of time - how far back is dependent on the facts of a particular case. However, if he is not interested in a relationship with the child and you think he would not want to be under an order of child support for the future, then he will probably sign a voluntary relinquishment to allow the adoption. There are many subtle issues here - you should consult with a lawyer to gain a better understanding of all the issues in play and how they may affect the outcome for your situation.

This is intended to be general information and not specific legal advice. An attorney client relationship needs to be established so that an attorney can obtain sufficient information to render advice to a client.

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