Legal Question in Family Law in Alabama

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

My husband wants to term his rights due to parental alienation by his ex. They are awaiting to go back to court for change in child support. However, due to frustations of both physical and phone visitation because child is encouraged to disrespect him and our family, he hasn't seen his child in a year. He is definitely going to terminate. Should he file termination now before going back to court to change child support? Is it possible for file contempt of court on her in conjunction with termination?

Asked on 6/22/09, 11:12 am

5 Answers from Attorneys

William Pfeifer Pfeifer LLC
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Re: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

Your husband can't terminate his own parental rights unless his ex-wife agrees to it. Otherwise, every deadbeat dad in the country would be filing to terminate his own parental rights so that they wouldn't have to pay child support. His rights can be terminated by the court if the custodial parent requests it and he consents to it, but he can't get a termination of his own rights just because of parental alienation.

However, the custodial parent may be in contempt of court for encouraging such behavior by the child and for keeping the child away from your husband. If your husband has a case pending for a change in his support amount, he should also file to have his ex held in contempt of court as part of that proceeding. I would not file it as a separate case, I would amend his request for a child support reduction to include a request that she be held in contempt for keeping the child away from him.

Our office handles cases of this nature, and we will be glad to discuss representing your husband if he does not currently have an attorney. If we can be of assistance, please give me a call or send me an email through this website. You can also contact me online through my website at www.williampfeifer.com.

Good luck to you.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 11:21 am
John Davidson Law Office of John A. Davidson
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Re: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

He can not do even if mom would agree unless there is an adoption in the offing.

{John}

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Answered on 6/22/09, 11:38 am
Paul Stacom Law Offices of Paul J. Stacom
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Re: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

If he really wants to see his son, and there is a court order, there is no excuse not to file a contempt petition to enforce the order. He cannot voluntarily give up his rights.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 12:42 pm
Mari Morrison Mari Morrison, P.C.
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Re: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

In Alabama you can not just terminate parental rights when you want to give up your child. He will have to fight to get his rights and he will have to pay proper child support. Yes he can file for contempt and modification of visitation if necessary.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 2:42 pm
Mari Morrison Mari Morrison, P.C.
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Re: Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights

In Alabama you can not just terminate parental rights when you want to give up your child. He will have to fight to get his rights and he will have to pay proper child support. Yes he can file for contempt and modification of visitation if necessary.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 2:42 pm

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