I am a single mom, living in Indiana. I have an 8 year old daughter. Her biological father has not seen her since she was 1. After her birth, he requested a paternity test & was then ordered to pay child support. He has not paid for almost 6 years, but he also has not seen her, so I don't really care. The courts recently decided to go after him for the overdue child support and are now garnishing his wages. After this happened, he contacted me telling me he either wants to have visitation with her "because he's paying for it anyway", or he wants to sign over his rights.
From what I have read here, signing over his rights will not end the child support - which is what his goal is. I am fine with not receiving child support, it has never really been paid anyway. My question is, is it possible for him to sign over his rights & both of us agree to terminate child support? Or is this only possible if someone else is willing to adopt my daughter?
I don't know if it's relevant, but my daughter is on Medicaid as a secondary insurance. I am also okay with her being taken off Medicaid if need be, her primary insurance is carried through my work.
You will have to check the laws in your area... you could call around and see if any attorney offer free consultations.
I know when my daughters dad finally agreed to sign over his rights I went to my attorney and he said we couldn't do it unless I had someone willing to adopt her. I asked could my mom adopt her in his place... I was told no because then I would have to say I wasn't able to care for my child and sign away my rights to my mother as well... which I wasn't going to do.
If I was married at the time, my husand could have adopted her, but we would have to be married a year before they would even consider that either.
No. Not yet. I don't have a problem with him seeing her, but I do have a problem with him taking her away for weekends or anything like that. He lives almost 4 hours away. I think it would make my daughter extremely uncomfortable, but it doesn't sound like I could argue the matter if he has never been physically abusive toward her. He basically said "Either let me sign over my rights or else."
There is a court date set for October 26, so I am trying to figure out my options ahead of time. I don't think he realizes that signing over his rights won't do him any good as far as child support is concerned.
This ain't going to happen. I'm going to assume that at some point you received public assistance. Usually the courts will not just decide to go after a deadbeat dad except to repay public assistance funds. Have you been getting what's been taking from his salary in full?
Second, the courts will not allow him to relinquish rights just to get out of paying support. But support and visitation are NOT tied together. I don't think he will be able to get visitation under the circumstances. All you should have to do is point out that he never showed any interest in the child until his wages were garnished. And that he "threatened" you with the visitation card in order to intimidate you into killing the child support.
But if you have no objection to him seeing her, you can at least force it under your terms. Fight against overnites at least until she gets to know him better. Explain to the judge that you are not unwilling, but you think that visits should start as supervised for a few hours and gradually increase to where you AND your daughter will be comfortable with overnites. I can almost guarantee, that if he gets such visitation he won't exercise it for very long.
Well you said that he has not seen her in like 7 years. As far as visitation goes, no judge in their right mind is going to say "hey you haven't seen this child in 7 years, but go ahead and start taking her for the weekend". My daughters father hadn't seen her in a long time by the time we went to court. The judge ordered a "graduated" visitation schedule to build the father-daughter relationship first, and to ease my daughter into it.
It went something like this...
Her father and I met at a neutral location...
He was allowed to see her once a week for 2 hours and I had to be there, we did that for about a month.
Then he was allowed to see her twice a week for 2 hours and I had to be there, and we did that for about a month.
Then he was allowed to see her once a week for 2 hours I had to be there, and he was allowed to take her for 2 hours alone, and we did that for about a month.
Then he was allowed to take her 2 days a week for 2 hours alone, and we did that for about a month.
Then he was allowed to take her once a week for 6 hours alone, and we did that for about a month.
It went on from there, and eventually fell into the normal "every other weekend" thing.
I will disagree with the adoption having to be a spouse, this is a state by state issue, and in many states, it only has to be a domestic partner, they may require that you have lived together a number of years as a partner.
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