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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney
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My ex is on my daughters birth certificate, he does not pay

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My ex is on my daughters birth certificate, he does not pay child support, and has not seen my daughter in 3-4 years. I have married to my now husband for 4 years and we have a son together. My husband has helped me take care of my daughter since she was about 6 months old. My husband wants to adopt her. What rights does her paternal father have?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Arkansas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I bought the adoption papers a few years ago. That's it though.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Nope!

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I'm a licensed attorney. I'm reviewing your question and will respond shortly.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you

Please keep in mind that all information shared is for educational purposes only.

Once your new husband adopts your daughter, her biological father will have no rights in her parenting. Because of this, you will have to terminate the rates of the biological father prior to her stepfather adopting her. You can do that by filing a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights along with your new husband's Adoption Application. This can be done with the biological father's consent or without. I'll outline both procedures here.

Sometimes, the biological father will consent to the adoption and the termination of rights. Sometimes he'll agree because it will terminate his child support obligations. If he does, he can fill out the form found here, personalizing it for this specific set of circumstance.

If he does not consent, you will have to demonstrate to the Court that your ex is not involved in the life of his child. In Arkansas, you must prove that he has given implied consent by not visiting or supporting the child within the last six months, or that he left the child with another guardian without maintaining any type of communication regarding his care or support. Evidence that child support is in arrears, if applicable, can help provide evidence for your position.

When you go to court, the judge will look to see if the parent is unfit and whether it is in the child's best interest to sever contact with this parent. Any evidence regarding drug or alcohol abuse, criminal problems, financial instability or other factors regarding his unfitness will help your case.

This is a complicated motion, and you would benefit from the assistance of an attorney to help you draft it. Here is a list of pro bono attorneys in Arkansas who may be able to help you draft your Petition for Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption Application.

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