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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4779
Experience:  I have assisted many customers and clients with their family law questions and I'm experienced in family law litigation.
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My daughter married a wonderful man on March 7, 2013. My husband

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My daughter married a wonderful man on March 7, 2013. My husband and I (maternal parents) have join custody with her of her 5 yr. old son. The bio father has not seen the child since Oct. 2, 2012. The step-father would like to adopt.
Is there a way to prepare paperwork online to serve to the bio Dad? Are there other ways to obtain legal help that is not very costly? The lawyers in this area require a 1500 dollar retainer. We are hoping this will be non-contested.
Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

Regarding a form to terminate the parental rights of the biological father, the state of Missouri publishes the following form:
www.dss.mo.gov/cd/info/forms/word/cd48.dot
While that form is certainly legally valid, I would caution you against proceeding on the termination of his parental rights on his own. It is extremely imporant that this process is completed correctly so that there is finality in the process. The danger you run in trying to complete the termination process on your own is that later down the road, the biological father regrets his decision and attacks the process to get his rights back. Clearly, thinking he is out of the picture, only to have him come back years later would be a nightmare. So, given that caution, that brings me to your next question. There are pro bono legal services available in Missouri. They are based on need, so she will have to demonstrate that she is financially unable to afford a lawyer on her own. It can either be a reduced cost or no cost, depending on her income and assets. You can find out more about pro bono legal services here:
http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=43918
http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/probono/directory/missouri.html

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