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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11842
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My question is what are my options. The situation is i was

Customer Question

Hi . My question is what are my options. The situation is i was married to my now xhusband during the time my son was born in 2013 however we were seperated then and had been for 3 yrs. The child does not belong to him it belonged to the boyfriend however he decided he didnt want to have anything to do with the baby or me and he didnt for 2 years. Recently in last 6 months we took a paternity test and it proved his. We did not do this legally it was at a local dna center and she said it cant be used as a chain of custody. We could have paid 35 dollars more and used the document in court but ( he was scared of child support) during my pregnancy i moved on with my now husband who has been there sinse day 1 for the son so now i want to make him the legal father through adoption process. The boyfriend has gave cash money here and there for the child after he found out it would be his word against mine but he does have text messages of proof do they stand in court? My question is sinse i was married can i just leave this guy out of it sinse he is only did a few things here and there? I already ask him give up rights he said no. He pays no child support but keeps threating to take me to court and get rights if i go through with the adoption process can he come back and get rights after we have went through legal process? I dont want his money i just want to be happy and move forward and not look back. Can u please tell me my options on this complicated matter. Thanks im in south Carolina.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning,

I will try to best answer your question.

I'm assuming the biological father was your boyfriend. Current husband is step dad. First off biological father can use text messages in court. It is not hearsay as both you and he will be present in court proceeding. I would push on the issue to increase support and also enforce the current order. I would also not allow visitation.

The idea being you want to push him into giving up custody in exchange for being released from support.

If your current husband adopts child that will terminate the parental rights as that is a necessary requirement for adoption.

If biological father will not voluntarily terminate rights you can file to have them involuntarily terminated if he's had no contact or no support for the child.

I hope this information and advice is helpful and I wish you the best of

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok he has supported the child cash money here and there but thats when he started threating me he said he wanted visits without me hanging over him if hes gonna pay money but i said no so he stopped the money now he says hes gonna take me to court to get rights. What is his chance of getting visitation my child never been around him but several times and he doesnt live in a safe environment plus my son has disabiltys?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I want to involuntary terminate his rights how do i do that without him knowing? So my husband can adopt i dont trust him with my child he is not a good person i just want to have no strings attached with him.
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

The custody determination will be based off of what is the best interest of the child. If father has an unsafe environment he may be awarded supervised visitation. I would suggest that you take the position that since he is basically a stranger to your son the he has to engage in reunification counseling prior to any form of visitation. He should be required to pay for the reunification counseling as he has chosen not to be involved. The idea being you want to set up as many roadblocks as possible to having visitation. If father had a safe home environment he would have a good chance of getting some nominal amount of visitation time. The key for you is your son's disability and father's estrangement by choice. The more time that goes by that he does not seek custody and more difficult his chances become. Delay and time are on your side.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He went 2 whole years not contacting me i am the one that reached out to him to get help financially which was only 60 a week sinse may of this year 2015. But he has sinse threaten me to now if hes paying he wants rights but to begin with that was not the deal. He said ill pay but please dont put me on child support so i coperated with him the 60 a week until last week payment stopped but i am not worried about payment i want to terminate his rights how do i do that involuntary now sinse he has paid and had contact some? I was told after 6 months failure to support is this true? Do u think he is bluffing me about taking me to court just so he wont have to pay? If u were my lawyer how could my new husband adopt? He does everything for my son financially and emotionally
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

I think your ex is bluffing you. What's he waiting for, a blue moon? Don't allow any further visitation and don't accept any more money from him. I would tell him that you want to know more money in exchange for giving up rights if he's going to insist on rights then you're going to have to go through child support and seek a modification to increase the amount because it's not enough. You're far better off doing the termination voluntarily by agreement. If you must do it involuntarily you will need a gap in time for support and visitation to be successful?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
How much gap in time? Lets say he tries buy the child gifts for christmas or birthday how do i keep it his word against mine? I dont wont nothing from him but he may try to provide now here and there because he could have seen his rights could be on the line if he doesnt or just a guilty mind. One lawyer in town suggested i not even bring up the boyfriend the court will think they are terninating rights for the xhusband i was married to at the time so new husband can adopt but even if i went tbrough this process i see no point in paying 7000 all in all and then he could still get visitation not to mention i will be lying under oath because i know he is the father. I am sure u are wondering why i want to not give him rights so bad. He is abusive he was to me especially emotionally but i have no proof i threw all letters away. He has abused animals got away with that and he wont even tell me who he lives with i dont trust him at all. I know his home not childproof for kids my son autistic he gets into everything need to keep him safe at all times. A part of me sir wants to lie if i have to be able to free myself from this horrible person but i dont wont jail time either.
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

Lying would be foolish and the attorney's advice to lie is even more foolish. The answer can be resolved conclusively with a paternity test which the court will order if there is a disagreement on prantentage. You need to be able to prove what he paid the burden will be upon him do not give any receipts do not accept any cash or other payment from him and make every excuse in the world to avoid visitation. 6 months to be sufficient time for abandonment determination

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I know he makes 600 or so a week but only gave me 60. But when i stop taking the money now he is quit. He said ill still buy kid christmas gifts i still buy birthday and u let me see him here and there so i guess he thinks occasional gifts is enough support. Forgot to mention that him and his new girlfriend has a baby coming in March i feel thats why he put up such a big deal about how he was paying me but not getting time alone all this maybe he just wanted to almost scare me? If i pay you ill get rights but he knows i dont wont the money i dont wont him alone with my son so u think he trying to scare me using his tactics? I dont wont to have conversation with him or let him see my son on these occasional visits but i feel like if i dont he will then in return say im taking you to court to get rights. To have a person like him alone with my 2 half year old makes me so fearful of what happen in his care. How do i know if hes trying scare and bluff me to not pay weekly or if he dont care about the money as he claims and just wants rights?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I guess to your last question how do i prove abandonment if he still doing occasional things? He still dont support the child but im scared we go court he say i stopped giving her money because she wouldnt let me see him alone so i stopped and that's true. I dont mind him seeing him here and there but i would never feel comfortable at him doing it alone. I just want his rights and move forward. I really want my husband to be legal father in case something happens to me he wouldnt get custody or try to take him away
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has no reciepts but he has text messages with us interchanging deals and words. I told him if he pay 60 week i keep quit he was fine with that but then it turned to i want time alone i said i won't take ur money but i cant do the time alone. So yes there is sonewhat proof in text messages and that paternity paper we went and done in may. If we go court can i use that he abandoned me in hospital because he said it wasnt his until i reached out to him?
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

You can't avoid the texts. What you can do is let them become less relevant by becoming stagnant /old. Anything you write in an email or text message you have to assume may be used against you at a later date so don't ever say anything in a text message or email that you wouldn't say in front of a judge.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is the chance he get rights? No contact for 2 yrs up till last 6 months maybe gave me 400.00 in cash in total but wants it on his terms u let me see kid every once while and ill buy for the kid here and there but thats his arrangment for now if things dont go his way he change it again. What reasons do the court give supervised visits? Is that permanent? He doesnt have car seat no baby supplies not right foods lives with 2 others dont know them do i stand good chance at supervised rights? Would that be permanent or no? Can i hire you for the case? Im in sc
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

It sounds like father does not have a good chance for custody because of legitimate safety issues with other adults in his household, not having a car seat and not being able to properly care for disabled child. Supervised visitation can remain in place as long as there is a need for it. Just because he pays for things doesn't mean that he will get visitatiom. Even if he paid for everything it doesn't guaranty visitation. Visitation has to be in the message of the child regardless of the support is not being paid.

Unfortunately this site, just answer, this is not allow us to represent clients. It's probably too early to hire an attorney just yet anyways.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When do u think i should get a lawyer after he claims he is gonna serve me papers on my job? He claims that he dont care about nothing but seeing his son they can take anything i got which is not much by the way. Or do u think i should think hes bluffing? Im scared to wait around not knowing what hes up to. Letting him see him on occasions like he got it may be alright but im not trying to confuse my son he only knows one father and i want it to stay that way. I made bad choices that are now following me
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

As I said earlier I think he is bluffing. I still recommend not taking any money from him and trying to avoid any visitation by making excuses whenever possible. Don't say a flat out no just come up with excuses as to why it can't happen. I don't think you should hire an attorney yet because there is no pleading to respond to from Ex and no pleasing i think you should be filing in court.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok final thing. If i just move forward with adoption process make out like i dont know who father is if they find out if he ever takes me to court what kind of penalty is that for me?
Expert:  mmdesq replied 2 years ago.

The entire adoption can be invalidated if biological father is not served.