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Parental Rights Termination with non-custodial parent agreeing to termination/stepparent adoption

Hemet, CA |

I live in California. My ex-husband and I have one daughter together. He hasnt seen her in five years nor has he spoken or tried to speak to her in that time period. He is court ordered child support, but pays irregularly. More often not than so. He owes $13,000 in back support and hasnt paid a dime in four months. He lives in Florida. I was wondering if this qualifies him as a candidate for reliquishment of his parental rights, or does it not because of the support that HAS been paid in the past? Also, my husband would like to adopt her and my ex once agreed to terminate his rights..........what is the petition that I need to file in regards to his agreeing to sign over his rights?

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Attorney answers 2


In California, the family court has no jurisdiction to terminate parental rights absent an agreement. Even if the court could, failure to pay child support is insufficient reason to terminate a parent's rights. Your only option is to get your ex to sign off on such a stipulation. If he agrees to sign off on his parental rights, I would highly suggest you hire an attorney to do the paperwork.


Step-parent adoptions are common, and they are not difficult to accomplish if the other parent agrees. Hire a family law lawyer in your area and get the adoption going before your ex changes his mind. It is true that the unpaid support is not a reason for a court to terminate parental rights. The fact that no further support will accrue, however, is good motiviation for a father like this to sign the adoprion papers and agree to give up his rights. Good Luck.

David C. Beyersdorf

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