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  • May 12, 2008, 03:23 PM
    wvmomma
    Parental rights after relinquishment
    What rights does a father have after he has voluntarily relinquished parental rights to a child, years after the fact?
  • May 13, 2008, 06:59 AM
    wvmomma
    Relinquishment with out adoption
    I have been searching rights to a child after informed relinquishment of parental rights and duties. I have been unable to find anything in the state of West Virginia, that adresses the topic separate from relinquishment for adoption purposes. Is there a distinguishment of the two, on either the State or Federal level?
  • May 13, 2008, 07:06 AM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wvmomma
    I have been searching rights to a child after informed relinquishment of parental rights and duties. I have been unable to find anything in the state of West Virginia, that adresses the topic seperate from relinquishment for adoption purposes. Is there a distinguishment of the two, on either the State or Federal level?


    There is considerable case law but the decision is based on the various circumstances. Do you have a specific situation? Otherwise the question is almost too broad to answer.

    What are you looking to find out?

    (I trust this is not homework - ?)
  • May 13, 2008, 07:07 AM
    JudyKayTee
    You have posted the same question twice - should be combined.

    This thread answers the questions I had about the other thread.
  • May 13, 2008, 08:21 AM
    wvmomma
    They are 2 separate questions. The first is what right does a father have to a child after giving informed consent in a Court of Law to voluntarily waive any and all parental rights, duties and visitation. The second is, is there a distinguishment between relinquishment of rights constituting abandonment ( as stated by the Judge during the hearing) and relinquishment for adoption. My daughter's father had never had a relationship with her, and at age 6 proposed to waive any and all parental rights, duties, and visitation, in exchange for me waiving child support. I agreed to it, and the Judge and Guardian-Ad-Litem felt that it was in her best interest. There was no one waiting to adopt my daughter. She is also disabled. She has an uncontrolled seizure disorder. I have literally been through Hell with my baby, trying to get diagnosis, treatment, and living with her disability. I have shouldered all the responsibility, work, and so forth her entire life. I am not complaining about it, at all. I am just glad that I could be with her through it. After 3 years her father took me to Court and gained custody of her, and filed for a restraining order against me. Based on her inability to attend school on a regular basis. He was awarded custody, and I have 2 weekends per month with my daughter now. He has still not been the one to care for my daughter, even having custody. It was first his wife, then his girl friend that "cares" for her needs. Her health is not addressed properly, nor is she happy. He refuses to inform me of anything that goes on with her, or to even let me speak to her on the phone. He has even kept her from our visitations. All of this has happened in front of the same Judge, and the Orders are prepared by his attorney, are not complete nor correct. This makes it impossible for me to have assistance from Law Enforcement or to even file for contempt in asserting my Parental Rights and Duties. Let alone my visitation. He has even relinquished rights to his older son for adoption. I am filing all this with a higher Court, and need answers to my questions. Is there a permanent relinquishment with out adoption? Can some one "accept back" their rights after "Legal abandonment"? Did the Judge afford him rights that he didn't have? They are very similar, but to me have a separate significance. Hopefully that makes sense, as it may just be my emotions speaking.
  • May 13, 2008, 09:20 AM
    JudyKayTee
    I don't know if he CAN reclaim his rights under WV law but it certainly appears that he HAS. Where is your Attorney during all of this? Incomplete/incorrect Orders are very easy to take back to Court because there is a transcript of the proceeding. That should be done.

    I don't understand how/why you lost custody - if your child is being neglected or abused you must report it to your local Child Welfare Office and keep that child safe.

    The Law as I find it is: " Even if it might be properly said that the natural father “relinquished” his rights and that those rights were “terminated,” it simply is not and never has been the law in West Virginia that a relinquishment or termination of parental rights completely severs the parent/child relationship. Despite the impressive string cite of authority from other jurisdictions that the majority relies upon to support this proposition, numerous laws arising under both statutes and the common law prevent such a holding from being valid in this state. "

    I think that's your answer - in WV, no, termination or relinquishment does not completely or permanently sever the child/parent relationship.
  • May 13, 2008, 09:55 AM
    ScottGem
    This is what we have said here in so many threads. Courts do not want to terminate a parent's rights. In the infrequent times that they do, its to clear the way for adoption or because the parent represents a danger to the child.

    It sounds like the judge agreed to let the father abandon the children, but not permantly relinquish his rights as in an adoption. Why you would give up support, I can't fathom.

    But it seems that the courts overturned the abandonment and allowed him not only to resume his rights but to get physical custody. I find this hard to understand as well, but I suspect he had a good lawyer and you didn't.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:00 AM
    l341972
    Your best bet without all the legal jargon is to foster a healthy relationship to the child's mother (or guardian) and if that's not possible begin writing to your child and stick to letting that child know you want to be involved.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:03 AM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by l341972
    Your best bet without all the legal jargon is to foster a healthy relationship to the childs mother (or guardian) and if thats not possible begin writing to your child and stick to letting that child know you want to be involved.


    Sorry, but this does not answer the question whether relinquishment is permanent - perhaps it's good advice but it's not legal advice.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:12 AM
    wvmomma
    Something that I have found at another site, was from a Missouri Court of Appeals Judge, states the following: The term "abandonment" and "neglect" are used in the disjunctive and therefore either ground, if supported by substantial evidence, if supported by substantial evidence, will support an adoption. The terms "neglect" and "abandonment" embody different, but not mutually exclusive concepts. Neglect focuses on physical deprivation or harm, and has been characterized as a "failure to preform the duty with wich the parent is charged by the law and conscience." "Neglect" is ultimately a question of an intent to forego "parental duties" wich includes both an obligation to provide financial support of a minor child, as well as an obligation to maintain meaningful contact with the child. "Abandonment" is defined as the voluntary and intentional relinquishment of custody of the child with the intent to never again claim the rights or duties of a parent, or, the intentional withholding by the parent of his or her care, love, protection and presence, without just cause or excuse. In both neglect and abandonment the issue turns on intent, wich generally inferred fact, determined by conduct within the statutory period, combined with the relevant conduct both before and after this period. This was referring to a case he had where a husband wanted to adopt the wife's child from a previous marriage, and the father had agreed to no visitation, and relinquishment of rights. From what I have found a parent has the right to object to an adoption after termination of rights, but I have found nothing about him being able to simply change his mind and take custody of a 9 yr old child he had "legally abandoned", to use the Judge's own words from a 2003 hearing. It seems to me that he was willing for some one else to adopt both of his children as long as he didn't have to pay child support, for either. Then the State stepped in and took him to Court for child support, not me, and she started receiving Disability payments. That is when he used her disability ( that he does not know how to properly care for, nor aknowledge the severity of) to gain custody. He did not seek child support from me until he found he makes too much money to receive any type of State or Federal benefits for her. That is also when he applied for a Restraining Order against me, and has repeatedly interfered with my Parental Rights. I was in Court on my own, only 1 time was my Attorney present, and that was after I had lost custody. His attorney again pulled a dirty trick in delaying paper work, so that I could not file an Appeal with Circuit Court. I am trying to find out what was "right" and what was not, so that I can file with the Supreme Court.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:16 AM
    ScottGem
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by l341972
    Your best bet without all the legal jargon is to foster a healthy relationship to the childs mother (or guardian) and if thats not possible begin writing to your child and stick to letting that child know you want to be involved.

    It might help if you read the thread before replying. The OP IS the mother. Apparently she lost custody to the father after he had previously relinquished his rights. What she really needs IS legal advice that would help her regain custody. And with this situation, she really needs an attorney to help.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:25 AM
    wvmomma
    My daughter is fully aware of how much she is loved and still wanted by me. The little time we have is spent together doing things like cooking, the drive in, renting movies, playing games, visiting family and friends, going to church, bike rides, etc.. She is very depressed on the day that I have to return her to her father. She is constantly expressing her wish to live and remain with me, and not her father. I do not coax her to say that, it is how she feels. I do my best not to let her see how much the whole situation upsets me. Being the bright little girl she is, she knows that it does. I also refrain from being negative about him in front of her, but, he does not afford me the same curtesy. She tells me how much it hurts her to hear him talk bad about me. The whole situation is difficult at best.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:28 AM
    ScottGem
    You still haven't answered where your attorney is in all this. Because you NEED an attorney. What you claim happened appears to be counter to the best interests of the child and maybe even the law. So, I have to assume that the father got a good attorney to twist the law in his favor. Without an attorney to represent you, you are really swimming upstream.
  • May 13, 2008, 11:41 AM
    wvmomma
    My attorney now works for the State, and cannot represent any individual. I am now on unemployment, and can't afford another attorney at this time. Also my time limit for action is fast approaching. I would rather get something going without the help of an attorney, than to just simply let time run out. I have called Legal Aid, and they will not help me because I am not a victim of domestic violence nor a recipient of Welfare benefits. I am trying to find an attorney that is willing to work with me on the aspect of payment. As well as, I look at it as if, I can have information to present to an attorney, it will show that I am serious about taking action, and not wasting anyone's time on something frivolous.
  • May 13, 2008, 12:18 PM
    ScottGem
    You can't afford not to have an attorney. You need someone who know your local laws and the local court system.
  • May 13, 2008, 12:53 PM
    wvmomma
    Yes, I do need one. I also don't want to allow my time to act to expire while I am trying to attain representation. I hope that you can understand my plight. I feel damned if I do, and damned if I don't. But, like I said, I can't just sit around and wait.
  • May 13, 2008, 01:33 PM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wvmomma
    Something that I have found at another site, was from a Missouri Court of Appeals Judge, states the following: The term "abandonment" and "neglect" are used in the disjunctive and therefore either ground, if supported by substantial evidence, if supported by substantial evidence, will support an adoption. The terms "neglect" and "abandonment" embody different, but not mutually exclusive concepts. Neglect focuses on physical deprivation or harm, and has been characterized as a "failure to preform the duty with wich the parent is charged by the law and conscience." "Neglect" is ultimately a question of an intent to forego "parental duties" wich includes both an obligation to provide financial support of a minor child, as well as an obligation to maintain meaningful contact with the child. "Abandonment" is defined as the voluntary and intentional relinquishment of custody of the child with the intent to never again claim the rights or duties of a parent, or, the intentional withholding by the parent of his or her care, love, protection and presence, without just cause or excuse. In both neglect and abandonment the issue turns on intent, wich generally inferred fact, determined by conduct within the statutory period, combined with the relevant conduct both before and after this period. This was referring to a case he had where a husband wanted to adopt the wifes child from a previous marriage, and the father had agreed to no visitation, and relinquishment of rights. From what I have found a parent has the right to object to an adoption after termination of rights, but I have found nothing about him being able to simply change his mind and take custody of a 9 yr old child he had "legally abandoned", to use the Judge's own words from a 2003 hearing. It seems to me that he was willing for some one else to adopt both of his children as long as he didn't have to pay child support, for either. Then the State stepped in and took him to Court for child support, not me, and she started receiving Disability payments. That is when he used her disability ( that he does not know how to properly care for, nor aknowledge the severity of) to gain custody. He did not seek child support from me until he found he makes to much money to receive any type of State or Federal benefits for her. That is also when he applied for a Restraining Order against me, and has repeatedly interfered with my Parental Rights. I was in Court on my own, only 1 time was my Attorney present, and that was after I had lost custody. His attorney again pulled a dirty trick in delaying paper work, so that I could not file an Appeal with Circuit Court. I am trying to find out what was "right" and what was not, so that I can file with the Supreme Court.


    You can't do anything without an Attorney including filing in a superior Court - I still don't know how "he" used your child's disability to obtain custody of her.

    Don't mean to sound as harsh as this is going to sound but while the Missouri case is fascinating you are not in Missouri. I already gave you the WV law.

    If someone pulled a "dirty trick" so you could not file an appeal, then report that person to the Bar Association.
  • May 13, 2008, 01:49 PM
    ScottGem
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wvmomma
    It seems to me that he was willing for some one else to adopt both of his children as long as he didn't have to pay child support, for either. Then the State stepped in and took him to Court for child support, not me, and she started receiving Disability payments. That is when he used her disability ( that he does not know how to properly care for, nor aknowledge the severity of) to gain custody.

    I missed this. You applied for public assistance so the state went after him for support. So he turned around and went for custody. Doesn't quite explain how he got it, but it does make a little more sense now.
  • May 13, 2008, 01:55 PM
    wvmomma
    I realize that what works there will not necessarily work here. I am trying to find some sort of Federal guideline. I am filing complaints against the attorneys, and Judge. I had written a letter to The Epilepsy Foundation looking for legal help for my daughter, and it was forwarded to the Governor's Office. I was then contacted by that office, and I am following the advice of that office, and the attorneys that I have spoken with, in filing. The way that I understand it, I need to have proof of the misconduct, supporting evidence, and all pertinent information, etc. when filing.
  • May 13, 2008, 02:04 PM
    JudyKayTee
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wvmomma
    I realize that what works there will not necessarily work here. I am trying to find some sort of Federal guideline. I am filing complaints against the attorneys, and Judge. I had written a letter to The Epilepsy Foundation looking for legal help for my daughter, and it was forwarded to the Governor's Office. I was then contacted by that office, and I am following the advice of that office, and the attorneys that I have spoken with, in filing. The way that I understand it, I need to have proof of the misconduct, supporting evidence, and all pertinent information, ect. when filing.


    Right, same as any other legal proceeding.

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