Legal Question in Family Law in California

Determining abandonment/and parental rights

We haven't heard from ex in 0ver 5 yrs, ex pays support because of wage garnishment. He never called/wrote...not once. He just called. The child was barely 2 when he left and is now 9. My child knows my husband as his father-my husband has been in his life since he was 2, (and knows nothing of my ex). Does my exs lack of contact constitute abandonment? If so, do I need to file for it or is it automatic? Does his lack of contact still allow him his full parental rights? If we have to go to court, does my child have to be exposed to this, (have to appear in court, ect...)? Thank you.

Asked on 7/29/03, 1:30 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Dieter Zacher Law Offices of Dieter Zacher

Re: Determining abandonment/and parental rights

It depends upon the visitation order. No one can really answer that question until the order is reviewed. However, if the order gives him the right to visit, then, he has that right. Simply because he hasn't tried to visit over the last 5 years doesn't necessarily mean he lost or waived any parental rights. I suppose you could force him to hire a lawyer or he could ask the judge himself to enforce the visitation orders, but, he might ask for attorneys fees against you. The child custody issues would be resolved by motions and without the child being involved. You should hire a lawyer.

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Answered on 7/29/03, 4:58 pm

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