Legal Question in Family Law in North Carolina

I want to know if I can terminate my daughters fathers parental rights. He was abusive to me and we got a protective order against him that lasted two years. About six months before the order was up, he was arrested and sentanced to eight years prison (having to serve four on good behavior) for sexual misconduct with a minor in indiana. I know that its not as easy for him to try to make contact with my daughter, but he knows where I live and could have sent a letter or called since hes been in prison. Its been a year and a half since the peotective order has been lifted and he still hasnt tried tomake contact. She is almost four and he has not seen or talked to her since she was six months old. My husband wants to adopt her but I know he wont agree to it. I sent him papers to voluntarily terminate his rights but didnt receive them back. Other than being abusive to me while I was pregnant and after I had my daughter, he tore up my car ( I did report it), and hung himself right in front of me. my daughter doesnt know him and I feel like it is in her best interest to not been involved with her biological father and have her 'daddy' adopt her.

Asked on 2/02/14, 8:08 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Amanda Houser The Houser Law Firm, P.C.

You can not sua sponte terminate your daughter's father's rights. You will need to file a petition to terminate. If the father refuses to consent, as you have indicated you believe he will, you will have to show good cause for a judge to terminate his right's. His being abusive toward you, damaging the car or even 'hanging' himself doesn't carry much weight in this type of action. Those things would be considered in limiting his visitation to supervised visits or something along those lines but not out right termination of his parental rights. Being abusive toward the child and of course the sexual misconduct conviction would be your biggest arguments. No contact would also be an argument but generally a judge would want to see a longer period of time although several years is getting close. However, if he is prohibited from contact with the child due to the sexual misconduct conviction - that argument may get blown out of the water. In my opinion you are close but don't yet have a slam dunk case of sufficient cause to terminate his rights. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced Family Law attorney.

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Answered on 2/02/14, 11:33 pm

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