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How do i get my son's last name changed to mine and the Fathers parental right's terminated?

Fort Lauderdale, FL |

My son's father hasn't been in his life at ALL. He hasn't paid any child support at all with in 7 yrs. our son's whole life. He doesn't even know what he looks like. I've wanted to take my son on vacations out of the country, but i cant cause i need the fathers consent. How do i get him off?

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Attorney answers 2


The clearest path is to petition for a step-parent adoption.

Richard J. Mockler <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Tampa Divorce Attorney</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Florida Super Lawyers Profile - Tampa Divorce Attorney</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Become a Fan on Facebook</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Follow me on Twitter</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Family Law Rights Blog</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Tampa Military Divorce Blog</a></li> <li><a href="" rel="nofollow">Tampa Divorce Lawyer Blog</a></li> </ul> ***If this answer was helpful, please mark it as such and remember to select a “best answer.” ***This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. I encourage everyone to consult an independent attorney regarding any legal matters.


An unmarried biological father must do one of three things to establish his parental rights in Florida. He must either: (1) have been determined to be the father of through a court action (paternity); (2) file an affidavit of paternity or be listed on the child's birth certificate; (3) file an acknowledgement of paternity with the Office of Vital Statistics and comply with a number of other requirements of Florida Statutes.

In the event that your son's father has establish his parental rights, it may be to petition his parental rights based on his abandonment of the child. Abandonment means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver, while being able, has made no significant contribution to the child’s care and maintenance or has failed to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with the child, or both. For purposes of this subsection, “establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship” includes, but is not limited to, frequent and regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation or frequent and regular communication to or with the child, and the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. Marginal efforts and incidental or token visits or communications are not sufficient to establish or maintain a substantial and positive relationship with a child.

This is not a simple procedure and would require the assistance of an attorney with experience in Juvenile Dependency and Termination of Parental Rights.