WA state - voluntary signing over of parental rights
Asked Feb 25, 2008, 05:50 PM
I was 3 months pregnant when my husband and I separated about a year ago. The divorce should be final in April (yay for his not contesting and his not even signing the papers certainly made things that much simpler for me.)
During my entire pregnancy he harassed me via text, IM, email. I wouldn't take him back so he thought he could bully me back to him by threatening (among many things) that he would take my son away from me. I knew there was nothing he could say or do to make this happen though it did make my pregnancy that much more stressful.
My son was born at the end of august; making him 6 months old now. When I filed for my divorce (in WA state) I filled out the relocation form and I've been living in ID state since feb. 1st. Although my divorce isn't yet finalized I've agreed to make the six-hour drive back for any court matters and to allow him to see his son.
Even though he's only seen him some 6 times since he's been born.
And I lived 10 minutes away before.
I'd been w/ him for 5 years and he turned into a complete stranger. He hurt me, he hurt my 5-year-old daughter -- not physically but he was no longer a decent person who wasn't doing right by either of us let alone his own son.
A few months ago I asked him if he'd be willing to sign over his rights. He was pitching a fit about having to pay "too much" child support (which he hasn't paid a dime of) so I pointed out that if he were to sign over his rights he would get out of it. I even spoke w/ the support case worker who verified this for me.
At the time however he was unwilling. I won't guess at his reasons.
Last week he sent me a text telling me he'd been thinking about it though. He said that he didn't want to disconnect from his son but he did from me. I didn't say it to him but I'm pretty sure he's not much connected to either of us right now. And honestly if it's still me he's hung up I don't feel he's a good influence in my son's life.
I asked him today if he'd given it any more thought and he said he had but that he's still undecided. I reminded him how before I'd said that I wouldn't try to keep them out of each other's lives. That when my son started asking questions about him I wouldn't bad mouth him -- my own parents are divorced and I know how unhealthy an environment like that is. I said that I expected him to really talk and be honest w/ my son if/when such a talk ever came about. I'd be thrilled if months/years from now he got his life together and could be a positive force in my children's life. Right now he can't get over himself.
Sorry this is so wordy.
So here's my question. what is the process for him to voluntarily sign over his rights? I'd rather not involve a lawyer. I was able to file my divorce paperwork through a "clinic" of sorts because I'm "poor" but I researched and made as many phone calls as I could to get to that point. I tried to research this -- hoping I'd just find a printable form but either that's not the case or it's buried deep.
Again, sorry this was on-going. Thank you for any insight, it's much appreciated!