My children are 13, 6 and 5. Their biological father (who was incredibly abusive to me and violent with my 13 year old) was killed in 2012. I just married my new husband 9 months ago, but we have been living all together as a family since 2013. My 6 year old no longer remembers her bio father and my 5 year old doesn't know him at all. He was only 11 months old when he was killed. Due to the abusive relationship I had with my first husband, my 13 year old refuses to speak of him, ever, and all of my kids have called my new husband "Dad" for years. Do I need a lawyer for my husband to adopt them or will I just need to file the paperwork and speak with a judge? We don't have a lot of money for a lawyer, I was thinking the only money I would need would be for filing costs, but the clerk I spoke to told me that I should contact a lawyer first. They quoted me a fee of $850. I live in Tennessee.
Yes, even though this is a straightforward adoption, you need a lawyer. A qualified lawyer will make sure the adoption is done correctly. It's worth your money to do that. It sounds as if the lawyer has quoted a flat rate, which is customary in a case like yours. I would begin saving up now to hire that lawyer.
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