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Terminating absent father's rights

Chillicothe, OH |

My daughter's father has not been involved in her life in over a year, left when she was 6 months old to move out of state and lived in his car for months. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but I assume it was to avoid paying child support. Now, he is supposedly in a "good place" and claims he is going to try to get visitation so I will have to send her there for the summers. Can he do that? What do I need to do to keep this from happening? We were never married but his name is on her birth certificate.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Full termination of parental rights is an extreme step that courts are unlikely to take in the absence of abuse, neglect, or dependency. If he is on her birth certificate, he will likely remain there, unless he consents for your new spouse to adopt her. If he petitions for visitation, it is likely to be granted, though it may not be in the form or amount he wishes. At the same time, you do have the right to petition for child support, and you have the right to ask the court not to give him so much uninterrupted time with him, because she doesn't really know him, and it could be scary for her. You will need an attorney to help you. Good luck to you.

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  2. By way of adoption. Why not just seek child support through the Ross County CSEA.

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  3. It is very unlikely that a court will completely terminate his rights and, unless he consents, it will be difficult if not impossible to have her adopted. I agree that you should seek child support through Ross county. If he files for visitation, I recommend hiring an attorney to assist you.

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