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Is it necessary to notify birth parent of a court proceeding to terminate their parental right if safety is a concern?

Clarksburg, WV |

I have a 3 yr old, and 4 yr old by the same man that I left in 2010, a few months before the youngest's birth. His name is not listed on the birth certificate of my 3 year old, who does have my last name. At the time of our unwed separation, it was necessary for me to file a restraining order as I feared for our safety. He is a dangerous, schizophrenic sociopath. He has not made any attempt to contact us since our separation. The court ordered that he pay 117 a month in child support, and we see about $45 a month. I do not want his money, nor do I want a paper trail leading him to us. I live in fear that he may travel back down to west virginia and hurt my children or me. Can termination take place without notification if we are in danger?

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Attorney answers 1


Speak to the court personnel or a local attorney about arrangements to keep your address impounded, but I do not think you can terminate his rights without notice.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.