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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 110543
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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My friend had custody of her daughter and lived in Texas-

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My friend had custody of her daughter and lived in Texas- her ex lives in Iowa. One day her and her 13 year old got in a huge fight- and they both said things that they regret- one of which was - if you think I am such aterrible mom- you should live with your father- and so she moved in with her father. My friend called there every night and was told that her daughter did not want to speak to her. Her ex sent her papers to terminate her parental rights. She waited 5 mos to sign them hoping to talk to her daughter. She thought her daughter hated her and never wanted to see her again- so she eventually signed. Later she found out that her daughter had been begging her father to let her talk to her mom- and refused. Right after she signed her termination papers- her ex had his current wife adopt her daughter- we think so that when she found out that her daughter was miserable and wanted to be with her- she would have no legal recourse to get her rights back. What can she do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Once the parental rights termination has been filed, there is nothing she can do. Thus, there is no legal recourse for her other than to wait until the child is old enough to be able to come to visit her on her own. Once a person surrenders their parental rights the court will not reinstate them, especially when there has been an adoption by a step parent. The one chance she has is she can try to file a motion for visitation based upon the theory that she granted the termination of her parental rights based upon it being in the best interests of the child for the step parent adoption, but this is generally a long shot on these cases since the courts do not like to grant such visitation unless there is showing of extradordinary circumstances (but it is worth the shot here since there may actually be extraordinary circumstances).

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Can the daughter have any say in the matter- if not her mother, than her grandmother or her aunt on her fathers side- she is more than the normal teenage angst miserable? Is there any way she can request the court to change her guardianship to one of her fathers relatives- they have already said that she would be welcome there- the only obstacle is her father.......
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Unfortunately, the daughter really cannot have any say until she turns 18. Her grandmother on the father's side could file to seek custody under the grandparent's rights law, but the problem is that since her son is the father and the father is objecting to the custody or guardianshp the court would generally honor that parent's wishes where the grandparent is from their side of the family. This is one of those very tough situtations where likely counseling is going to be the best solution.
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