Dear Avvo subscriber,
Parental rights may be terminated for any reasons listed in the Probate Code, MCL 712A.19b.
If your ex-husband is seeking to facilitate a step-parent adoption, MCL 710.51 must be complied with. He would have to meet the following requirements under that statute:
"(6) If the parents of a child are divorced, or if the parents are unmarried but the father has acknowledged paternity or is a putative father who meets the conditions in section 39(2) of this chapter, and if the parent having legal custody of the child subsequently marries and that parent's spouse petitions to adopt the child, the court upon notice and hearing may issue an order terminating the rights of the other parent if both of the following occur:
(a) The other parent, having the ability to support, or assist in supporting, the child, has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for the child or if a support order has been entered, has failed to substantially comply with the order, for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the petition.
(b) The other parent, having the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the child, has regularly and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the petition."
Applied to your factual scenario, your ex-husband would not be able to terminate your rights since you are current on your support obligation. Note that under the statute referenced above, your husband would have to meet both requirements.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me.
The short answer is that your husband cannot simply terminate your parental rights. He has to very strong grounds to do so. And he must petition the court to make that change. No court in this country will terminate a parent's parental rights without some very strong evidence. If your husband is claiming you have abandoned your kids by not visiting them, then you need to provide evidence as to why you are unable to visit. Perhaps you also need to file for a modification of the child support you pay.
Simon W. Johnson
This response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. This response does not form an attorney-client relationship. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response may change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Ohio. Responses are based solely on Ohio law unless stated otherwise.
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