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What is required to terminate my ex-husband's parental rights to my son? He has multiple felony offenses he has been convicted

Russellville, AR |

of and I have a 10 year order of protection against him that includes myself, my family, and our child.

In the state of Arkansas, what are the laws on this. Also, I want to change his last name to mine and have him removed from the birth certificate. My son is 2 years old and has not seen his father since he was 8 months old. Also, he has only paid child support one time since June 2009. He still running around getting arrested and I do not want my son associated with him or his name at all.

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Attorney answers 2


An adoption would terminate his rights, and theoretically you could adopt your own child. You will need to consult with an attorney (preferably one who is familiar with the Courts in your locality) to go over the specific facts of your case to determine the likelihood of success in your case.


It is difficult to answer your question without knowing the particulars; however, in Arkansas, parental rights may be terminated if the non-custodial parent goes more than a year without significantly visiting or supporting their child. With the order of protection, that may make things a bit more complicated if the only reason he's not visiting the child is because of the order of protection. In the past, adoption was the only way to terminate a parent's rights and then it had to be a two-parent or extra-familial adoption. But in recent years, the Arkansas courts have allowed a custodial parent to "adopt" their own child as a single-parent adoption, thus terminating the non-custodial parent's parental rights. If that were the case, the child would be given a new birth certificate with only the adoptive parent's name on it.

You should consult an attorney to find out how to go about this. The attorney will need to see the order of protection and also any other court documents relating to you, him, and the child (for instance, a divorce decree if you were married, or an order determining paternity, custody & child support if you were never married).

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