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Is it necessary to notify birth parent of a court proceeding to terminate their parental right if safety is a concern?

Clarksburg, WV |

I have a 3 yr old, and 4 yr old by the same man that I left in 2010, a few months before the youngest's birth. His name is not listed on the birth certificate of my 3 year old, who does have my last name. At the time of our unwed separation, it was necessary for me to file a restraining order as I feared for our safety. He is a dangerous, schizophrenic sociopath. He has not made any attempt to contact us since our separation. The court ordered that he pay 117 a month in child support, and we see about $45 a month. I do not want his money, nor do I want a paper trail leading him to us. I live in fear that he may travel back down to west virginia and hurt my children or me. Can termination take place without notification if we are in danger?

Attorney Answers 1


Speak to the court personnel or a local attorney about arrangements to keep your address impounded, but I do not think you can terminate his rights without notice.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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