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Brent Blanchard
Brent Blanchard, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1975
Experience:  Eleven years of experience in family law, from pre-nups, divorces, child custody and support mod
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i have two boys. one is four and the other 3 both from different

Customer Question

i have two boys. one is four and the other 3 both from different dads. my question is what kind of forms and what steps are required for them to sign over ALL parental rights over my son? they have both agreed it is int he childs best interest and they do not want to pay any child support.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

California's family law practice is very "forms driven", with almost everything done with relatively simple forms that one fills in the blanks. Attorneys make the forms pretty by getting word processor typing put in the blanks, AND they know what is really required with all those legal terms used in the process. (Note--sometimes an ordinary sounding term really is a legal "term of art" that has a very special meaning. Thus we have law schools.).

As you suspect, everyone agreeing to a termination of parental rights action does make the entire process much quicker. The petition gets filed, along with all proof of service or waiver of service AND a "stipulated" proposed court order. The longest thing is often waiting for the time period to pass between filing and the deadline for anyone to object to the termination.

You can read about the process here:

That's reliable, from the Sacramento County Law Library.

The books/practice guides listed under the headline "PRINT AND ELECTRONIC RESEARCH MATERIALS are the best places to get a comprehensive discussion of the how-to of the process. They are what new attorneys use to figure out the court system.

The forms themselves are available either at your local court's website (It's a good idea to check there for any special "local rules" or local forms, too!) or at

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
so the paperwork needed for them to sign and waive ALL parental rights would have to be prepared by a lawyer? and about how long does this process take?
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 6 years ago.
The paperwork is successfully done by do-it-yourself people all the time. Some have more trouble with it than others.

My point on the forms is that the ones you can get are the same ones the attorneys use. With the practice manuals, they are available to you at many law libraries, and are the same ones that attorneys use. And depending on what county and what part of the county sometimes where you live, there might be "local rules" that have to be looked at. When someone is pretty much done with a petition, then is the time to call the court clerk with questions about local rules, if the rules posted on that county's court website are either not available or don't seem to make sense. The clerk can say whether any special rules apply to TPR actions, and tell you where to find them.

On an agreed or "stipulated" action, it should be doable in about 6-8 weeks from the time of filing the petition. I am not sure whether doing a joint petition (often done in divorce) would be allowable, but that would be one way to do it and NOT have to pay a process server to "tag" the other parent with the summons and petition. But with two fathers, the safest way would be to file two petitions, one for each child, and then ask the court to consolidate the two cases because the two boys are brothers and multiple court appearances would be a hardship on their mother.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
One last question sorry.. I was reading a passage on one of the websites you listed as a reference and it said sumthing lik even if it is a mutual agreement then the court wouldn't grant it. Is that possible? And after their dads sign is their some kind of way even after the deadline if they wanted to "undo" the agreement would that be possible? And, if they wanted for some reason to see the child after the "process" they wouldn't have any rights correct? As well as they would not have any obligations financially towards the child correct? I am certain that they want "out" because of the conversations we have had.. So I would be filling for termination rights for them correct?
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 6 years ago.
I am fairly sure that "not being granted" means not without a hearing. Much of this depends on which county court you're in, and even sometimes which judge. They have preferences.

There is always a way to try to "undo" something done in court, but it takes more than just changing your mind. With children involved, there must be both a "material change in circumstances", AND the proposed change would have to shown to be "in the best interests of the child". Being a fickle parent with a changeable mind is not enough, and if a parent shows up at a hearing and gives face-to-face consent to terminate parental rights, it is very, very hard to reverse that on the grounds of something like "unfair". . . without something truly compelling like video of some dear family member being held at gunpoint under threat of death while the hearing was going on....

TPR is almost always total--no visitation rights. After all, that adult is now considered NOT a parent, regardless of biological reality. Parentage is more about the relationship between people than the biology, in the eyes of the law.

And yes, TPR = no more child support. Because of that financial "incentive", some judges and the law in general are cautious about these decisions.

Typically, the custodial parent files for TPR of the other parent, based on some unsuitability of the parent, long-term imprisonment, lack of visitation for years, or even huge personality conflict sometimes. But it must be shown to be in the best interests of the child, regardless of what the other parent thinks about it. TPR happens with the other parent's cooperation, and also over that parent's objections.

Just beware, and perhaps get the two fathers "committed" to the idea by getting provable evidence of what they have said on the subject. Sometimes people lie up a storm once they see their "maybe it would be better for Tommy if I. . ." statements put in print and sent to a judge.

Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Great! Now.. :) so best thing to do is also have them sign sumthin like an affi davis (don't know if that's spelled correctly) and just state they agree it is in the best interest of the child to grant the tpr? Also is their anything else I should hav them sign or write up to protect myself an grant the tpr? Just in case they "get cold feet" and decide not to go forth with it?
Expert:  Brent Blanchard replied 6 years ago.
Yes, the way to get "admissible evidence" of a parent's agreement to a termination of parental rights is through a signed and notarized affidavit. There are things that need to be said in the affidavit that will make a difference, so it is a good idea to consult with a local attorney or hire an experienced family law paralegal to help write it.

Thank you.

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