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Hello Dustin,To clarify, can you please explain if your motivation for doing so is trying to avoid paying child support?In other words, if you still had to pay, would you want to relinquish your parental rights?Thanks!Ben, J.D.
No, its not that I am trying to get out of paying child support. I have nothing to do with the child and do not see her, nor will the mother let me.
Hello again Dustin,
My name isXXXXX'm a licensed attorney. Glad to try and help out.
Sure sorry for the circumstances, truly. My heart goes out to you.
I appreciate your patience in writing back and I'm pleased to share the following information with you. The proceedings will have to take place in Mississippi. Even though you're doing this voluntarily, the Court still has jurisdiction over any matter impacting the life of a minor child. In other words, it's not something you can through with an informal letter agreement or anything like that. Also, the mother will need to do some footwork here since she resides in Mississippi with the child. Your role will primarily be agreeing and signing off on the paperwork.
There's a couple of ways it can be handled. The best next step would be for the mother to schedule a consultation with a local family attorney. Here's a good resource for her to consult if cost is a major issue:
Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project
If finances are not a huge consideration, here are some other sources:
The Mississippi Bar Consumer Information
Alternatively, if she feels comfortable doing so, she could handle the matter on her own as a self-represented party. In that case, she would have to educate herself on the local procedure and handle the paperwork. Most folks find it overwhelming to do so, but if she handles it the procedure is codified here:
Mississippi Code § 93-15-105
To start the case, she'll have to file a petition with the Court along with a waiver of service. This is a document you'll sign acknowledging that you don't contest the termination and won't require the usual service of process. Thereafter, she'll have to schedule a hearing and get the case on the docket. Unfortunately, unlike some state jurisdictions, the Judiciary in Mississippi has promulgated no standardized forms for this purpose. That means she'll need to go to her nearest law school for reference materials.
Another option, which would be far preferable to going it alone, would be something called "unbundled legal services". This means getting help with drafting the paperwork but handling the footwork. It could be a workable solution in your case, and here's a great bargain where you can schedule an unlimited duration telephone consultation for $35:
Unbundled Legal Services, LLC.
It's really the best bargain of which I'm aware, and she could also purchase the required paperwork for similarly modest fees. I have no affiliation whatsoever with this entity, but I can say I've seen it work nicely for folks who don't mind handling some of the case themselves but with attorney help behind the scenes, so to speak.
If you have a follow-up question or need clarification, please just say the word by using "reply" to reach me.
I truly hope all works out for you.
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