Step Parent Adoption vs. Custody and Visitation...now what?

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Latest post 04-16-2007 4:53 PM by ckstaggs. 2 replies.
  • 04-16-2007 1:14 PM

    Sad [:(] Step Parent Adoption vs. Custody and Visitation...now what?

    Little bit of backround...DH and I are in the process of a Step Parent adoption. He is attempting to adopt my 3 year old daughter, he has been in her life and has been raising her as his own since she was about 9 months old. DD absolulty adores him.

    BF has not seen her or paid a dime in child support since she was 1. There is a court order for Child Support in place and has been since March of 2005. He is currently about 9,000 behind.

    DH and I filed for a Step Parent Adoption in March of this year citing Abandoment. BF in turn filed for Joint legal/physical custody and reasonable visitation. Stating that I had kept the child from him which is absolutly not true we have lived in the same home with the same phone number since my DD's birth in 2004.

    My question is this...If we do not win this step parent adoption case and he is awarded some sort of visitation, what is the liklyhood that he would be awarded joint legal and joint physical? Keep in mind that she has resided with my Husband and I since birth and has no bond or really any idea who this person is, and he has never paid a dime in court ordered child support.

    Also he has requested that we pay his legal fees, could that possibly be awarded to him when he has never paid a dime in support ?

    Also will that fact that he has never paid any court ordered support be a factor in deciding the joint legal and joint physical?

    Our attourny has filed for a stay of visitation but we haven't been to the hearing yet so we don't know what the outcome will be. I know that these are questions that I should be asking my attorney and I will be, but I was hoping I could get some feedback form you guys as well, I feel like my life has been turned upside down and I just need to know what I'm up against.

    Thank you in advance.

    Kim
  • 04-16-2007 4:04 PM In reply to

    • CJ
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    re: Step Parent Adoption vs. Custody and Visitation...now what?

    Being that he's been so absent from his childs life for the duration of her existance, I would assume a court would not allow joint anything at this point. However, he could very well get supervised visits for a period of time to help connect him with his child and then after some time passes he could again request unsupervised visits.

    Non-payment of support will not look good for him and could actually help your adoption case depending if a court sees he's wanting visitaion for financial reasons or if he has truly come to his senses and wants to be a good daddy.

    I wish you luck. And if he does get to keep his parenting rights, I hope it's an easy process.

    CJ

  • 04-16-2007 4:53 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Step Parent Adoption vs. Custody and Visitation...now what?

    I totally agree with the last statement, especially with the fact that support payments are a last ditch effort as a form of contact. However, keep in mind that in some cases, child support is a seperate issue from visitation, and I have seen dads who haven't paid in years (like mine, never paid a dime my entire life) who have still been awarded visitation with court stating that no matter if a parent supports their child financially or not they still have the right to visitation. I wouldn't worry too much about joint custody, but I think that the adoption process might be out for now. I will tell you how my mother got my father to sign over his parental rights to allow my stepfather to adopt me was that she drafted a document stating he would not be responsible for any of the past due child support or any future. She said, "If he can live with it we can live without it."
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