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RESOURCES - SINGLE AND DIVORCING PARENTS

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Comments

Ray,

As a stepfather, you have no parental rights at this time that are equal to or superior to the biological father's rights. Most courts won't grant a stepparent adoption unless you've been married for a while.

See my response above to Shawn,for what the court will look for in a stepparent adoption. This is likely the only way that you will get this guy out of your lives. Jeanne

Shawn,

Michigan law and the laws of other states that have adopted the Uniform Adoption Code will permit a court to terminate the parental rights of a parent without his consent so that a stepparent may adopt the child if the court can make two important findings of fact:

(a) The other parent, having the ability to support, or assist in supporting, the child, has failed or neglected to provide regular and substantial support for the child or if a support order has been entered, has failed to substantially comply with the order, for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the petition.

(b) The other parent, having the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the child, has regularly and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of 2 years or more before the filing of the petition.

Thus, the question in your case is whether the amount of contact made by your child's other parent is "regular and substantial."

Why don't you call me and make an appointment to discuss your case? The specific facts of every case are different, and each case will be decided by a judge according to how those facts and the laws mesh.

Jeanne Hannah

I am a 33 year old married mother of two children, a 13 year old girl and a 18 month old boy. My husband is not my daughters father and we have been discussing lately my husband adopting my daughter. Her bio father has not contacted her in 3 months, has never paid child support and overall is a horrible excuse for a father, cant hold a job, does drugs & alcohol, etc. I know he will not voluntarily give up his rights just because of his ego - after all, he does want to show off his daughter on holidays! Anyways, if we pursue it how likely is it that we will be sucessful?

I had a question pertaining to stepfather rights. My fiancee and I will be married in October, 2007 and she has a child through her ex. They were never married and he abandoned them. Now he wants to step back in and see his son. Does he still have the same rights as a previous married now divorced couple would? What rights would I have in marrying her and being one of the primary caretakers of the child?

Lanetta,

Michigan courts rarely, if ever, terminate the parental rights of a parent unless there is a stepfather standing by for a stepparent adoption. Since your ex has no right to parenting time, it's not clear to me why you wish to terminate his parental rights.

I live in Michigan with my son, Austin (13 yes old). Austin's father and I divorced when he was 4years old. Due to my ex not exercising his visitations, I took him to court to have them taken away. His visitations rights were taken away (suspended). Austin has not seen, spoken to or received a card/note/letter from his father in 8 years. Also, my ex in in arrears of over $16,000. I have no idea where my ex is (last I knew, Texas). I would like to have my ex's rights taken away, but what is the probability of this happening?

McKayla,

It sounds as though you've done this before, but the real solution to your problem is to get a personal protection order. You don't say where you live, but there should be a domestic violence shelter near you. Normally, there are people there who will help you with the personal protection order process. Once an order is in place, then if this man shows up at your house, call 911. Eventually, if he doesn't stop violating a PPO, the police will put him in jail.

Additionally, you can go to my website www.traversecityfamilylaw.com where you will find all kinds of information about domestic violence on the Law Links page. The forms you need to use to file for a PPO are also on that page.

Jeanne Hannah

I'm a young mother having a problem with my child's real father paying child support. He has no rights to see his son but he thiks he can come see him anytime he wants. Can he do that? If I say no he sits there and fights to see him. I had to put up with this for a year before my son was born. Now he thinks its going to work. My sons dad use to do alot of stuff to me that really hurts still that I had to go to domestic violence classes because of him and i'm scared for my son. I'm not really sure what to do. I don't want my son to think that the way his dad treats girls is the way your surpose to treat them. His dad has not been there to help me with my son because hes been in and out of jail for alot of things. Now that hes 3 he wants to start. what can I do? I'm so lost please help!

Hi, My husband and I have been granted sole physical and sole legal custody of a minor child. The child is 6 years of age and has resided with us for most of those six years. The biological father pays no child support at all unless arrested on a bench warrant. The biological father has no visitation with said child and hasn't for years except on very few occassions when the child is at the biological grandparents house visiting. How hard will it be to adopt this child in michigan? Can the biological grandparents whom we have allowed more then reasonable visitation (every other weekend) stop this adoption. This poor child hates this arrangement and continually says he doesn't want to be different any longer he wants to be the same as the rest of our children. Meaning of course wants to feel like a permanent part of our family by having our last name. If anyone has any information that can help me with this I would greatly appreciate it. The lawyer fees are starting to get overwhelming over the last 6 years. The childs biological mother does not oppose the adoption. Please help! thank you!

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