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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29983
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My son's father lives in Nevada, I live in California. I

Customer Question

My son's father lives in Nevada, I live in California. I have full legal and physical custody of my son, and am about to get remarried. My son's father has not seen him in 2+ years, and I found out recently that he in in jail. How would I go about removing his parental rights? What steps do I need to take so my new husband can adopt my son?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Also, we divorced in Nevada, and that is where our custody orders are from. I have not filed anything in CA since I moved here 3 years ago.
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.

If you have the ability to take the paperwork to your son's father in jail, and he would sign them, that's actually the easiest way to do a termination of parental rights with a stepparent adoption. You are required to serve the father with notice of the lawsuit, if you wind up having to sue. Jails have specific procedures for doing this, so to start, call the jail and ask how you would serve process on a prisoner. They'll walk you through it.

Without the father's consent, you'd be filing a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights, explaining that the father has not seen the child in more than 2 years, that he's in jail and expected to be there for at least one year (if that's the case). The judge is more likely to terminate parental rights when you file the paperwork for the stepparent adoption at the same time. The process can be complicated, so it's a good idea to have a local attorney create the paperwork for you. The courts don't have free forms online for this. Another option is to check out websites such as to see if they can help.

Since you and your son are residents of California, you can file the Petition there. You'd only be filing in Nevada if you wanted to modify the original custody order, but this is a different procedure.

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. Since my son's father is in jail in Nevada and I am in California, is there a way to send him the paperwork without going to the jail in person? How would I get the paperwork back, if he does or doesn't sign?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

If you want to get his signature on the papers, then you would have to take them to him or send someone else to do it. The jail probably won't give him the papers and send them back to you.

Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

Did you have any other questions about this?