Asked 12 months ago - Dallas, TXFlag
My ex-husband of 8 years has court ordered supervised visitation. He has not attempted to utilize his rights in the last 5 years. Although he has made no attempt in 5 years he has now attempted to contact other people in connection to myself to find out information about my current husband and myself as well as my daughter. She is avid about not wanting anything to do with him, in her words fears him. We are needing to know what legal rights she has in regards to her biological father. She does not want to have to be made to see him. We are supposed to be relocating and she is extremely happy about it and does not want him to be able to interfere in that choice.
I agree completely with Mr. Davis's assessment, but I'd add one more thing. This may be way off base, but since there's obviously some parts missing to this story, let's just throw this in there. If the situation warrants it, you might consider filing an action to terminate his parental rights altogether. Unless there really is no relationship there (and usually there's a stepparent hoping to adopt), termination cases are often unsuccessful, but the facts that he did something to warrant supervised visitation, ignored his child for five years, and apparently did something to make her fear him, suggest there might be more to this, and I think it might be worth consulting with an attorney to see if the specific facts of your situation would likely lend themselves to a successful termination suit (assuming that would benefit your daughter). Just a thought.
Your court orders determine what rights the father has to see your child. As a parent conservator, under the orders, you are obligated to see that your daughter goes to visitations. As well, if the court order requires you to notify your ex of where you live, you are obligated to do just that, no mater what your daughter wants. Failure to do so can land you in contemptof court and in jail for failure, or refusal, to follow the court's orders.
That being said, custody orders are able to be modified. However, based on the facts as you have stated, is appears that the father already has supervised visitation. Therefore, that he has not seen his daughter in 5 years would not be cause for any more stringent visitation. Not knowing why your daughter fears him restricts my ability to answer this question as well, however, I would presume her fears have something to do with the surpervised visitation.
Finally, a child of 14 has no legal rights in this matter. She can voice her opinion, but, that is all. When it comes to court, an attorney ad litem can be appointed to represent her interests and she can talk to the judge about her wants, needs, and desires, but, the judge is not bound by what she says. Her statements are only facts he considered in making his decision.
You need to consult with a family law attorney before you relocate. The last thing you want is an enforcement action being brought aqgainst you alleging that you have beem hiding your daughter and preventing your ex from visiting her, even if the visits are supervised.
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