Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

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Latest post Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:57 PM by BigDadee63. 8 replies.
  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:21 PM

    Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    I am in a tricky situation.  Legally me and my ex are still married because I can't afford a lawyer yet.  We have a 4 yr old daughter whom he has made no contact with for 2 years.  He has not called, written, e-mailed, nothing.  I've read that some states have laws pertaining to child abandonment, and he could lose his rights since he chooses to have no contact.

    I live in Indiana and he lives in Illinois.  We were married and lived in Indiana during the course of our relationship.  Even though we are not divorced yet, is it possible for me to get his rights revoked as far as our daughter is concerned?  If he was a decent person I would let it go, but after I left him I found out that he was arrested for sexual assault on a minor (who was also his cousin - she was 8 yrs old at the time), and he's also raped other girls in his family.  I do have some of these family members on my side willing to share their stories, but unfortunately his cousin was told that too much time had passed since her rape so she couldn't file formal charges (about 10 years had passed by the time she had the courage to tell someone - even though she was only 8 when the incident ocurred).  He was supposed to attend counseling but never did.

    I am afraid to have my daughter around him and his immediate family, who covered up for his actions over the years.  They knew he had raped these girls and were even there on some occassions, but chose to lie and cover for him.  I don't care about receiving any child support from him, I just want him out of my life so my daughter and I can move on.  I'm really not sure of the best route to take here.

    Since it has been years since his last contact (which I initiated), can his rights be revoked?  I can't remarry and have someone willing to adopt my daughter since I am still legally married to this monster!  Please help!

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:24 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    What you need to do is divorce.

    AT that point you can raise the issue of abandonnment but frankly it would be better to simply ask that his contact be restricted to supervised visitation so that he is still responisble to support the child.

    The longer you wait the more complicated and therefore more expensive the divorce will become.

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    sweettreatme:
    Even though we are not divorced yet, is it possible for me to get his rights revoked as far as our daughter is concerned? 

    No; he's still the Father, until he consents to an adoption, and the adoption is finalized.

    Ok  I'm not a lawyer.  This is only my opinion /suggestion.  Most Replys' are based on information provided by the "original post" (OP).

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    Supervised visitation would be ok if he was willing to actually participate (I'm not sure he would).  But isn't this another program of which I would have to cover the cost?  I do ok on my own and have never received one cent from my ex, but as I said earlier I can't even afford a lawyer to get a divorce.  I'm just not sure what the answer is here, without winning the lottery.

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:39 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    Now, why would you assume that? In fact if he is ordered to have supervised visitation HE is the one who will have to cover the expense IF he chooses to see the child. So the child is protected in CASE he suddenly shows up but the child does not lose the right to support.

     

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:40 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    That's actually not true

    There are circumstances in virtually every state under which a parent can lose their rights via abandonment. It does require a court order to that effect.

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    Thank you for clearing that up for me, what a relief.  One last question, if he was ordered supervised visitation and refused to pay, or did not participate, would he then lose his chance at visitation?

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:44 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
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    Re: Child Abandonment - Can He Lose His Rights?

    Not exactly. Visitation is a right, not an obligation. It is unconnected to support. If he went for years with no contact, including no support, you could go back to court and ask for the termination of rights. But you are being shortsighted to do so. It would not really protect the child more than him simply ignoring her and she would lose any right to support from him. As long as support is ordered he continues to owe it AND interest. At some point you may be able to garnish his wages for it. Or attach any property he owns.

    You need to talk to an attorney NOW. The consultation will cost very little.

  • Wed, Apr 13 2011 12:57 PM In reply to

    Re: That's actually not true

    I stand corrected.

    Here's some information. I found on this subject:

    In certain circumstances courts have the power to terminate parental rights under Indiana Code Section 31-34-21-5.6.

    If a parent has been convicted of child neglect, which includes abandonment, as a Class B felony, or if the child was an abandoned infant under the statutory definition in Indiana Code section 31-9-2-0.5, parental rights can be terminated.

    Conviction for child neglect as a Class B felony means that some harm came to the child as the result of the parent's abandonment. If parental rights are terminated, the parent becomes a legal stranger to the child with no rights of contact. The child can be adopted as the legal child of a stepparent or other adoptive parent.

    Read more: Child Abandonment Laws in Indiana | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6382352_child-abandonment-laws-indiana.html#ixzz1JQIwAlG0

     

    Ok  I'm not a lawyer.  This is only my opinion /suggestion.  Most Replys' are based on information provided by the "original post" (OP).

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