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I have two children by two fathers. My daughter hasn't seen…

I have two children...

I have two children by two fathers. My daughter hasn't seen her father in a year and a half, and my son hasn't seen his father in two years. Can that be constituted as abandonment, and if so, what are my options?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

I haven't filed any papers at this point. I just got to thinking about this a few days ago and was curious about what I could legally do.

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Nebraska

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My daughter's father is a registered sex offender.

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
4/3/2018
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,319
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Of course.

Great, thank you! The system may automatically ask you for a phone call; however, it’s not required that you take it. Bear with me a moment while I review…

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Thanks for your patience. So, in your state, abandonment actually occurs when a parent completely abandons a child like at a firehouse. There are some protections for those parents for the sake of the kids, but if they are just simply deadbeat parents and they leave the child with the other parent, then it won't be considered abandonment. However, there are some steps you can take to help get the court's authority to be able to have full custody over the kids and cut off their rights...

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Custody, visitation, and child support are always difficult issues to sort out, but thankfully the courts are there to help settle the score on the issue. If you are looking to modify custody, visitation, or child support, you’ll have to go through the court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to get a change in one of those things. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and one to the other party. It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the child above all else. This means they will look into who and how the child’s health, education, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for one parent, but because the kids cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge when you are dealing with the other side because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes.

Regardless, once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. They will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

Did you have any other questions for me today?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
what you're saying is all I can do is modify what is already there? Is this correct? So, since I have full custody of both my kids, can I modify that to sole custody?

That's correct. With a court order, you can get the court's authority to have the kids permanently and their rights to the kids will be cut off officially. So, they can't just came pick up the kids without your consent and take them away. You could call the sheriff to stop that from happening. A court order would be a wise thing to get.

How else can I help you today?

Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,319
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Legal Eagle and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you. I think I've got everything I need.

You bet!

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