Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

Termination of Rights after Abandonment

My ex-husband blew out two years ago in February 2000 and has not been seen or heard from since. How can I get his parental rights terminated? He has not paid child support in three years. He is wanted by the state so I do know he will not come back. He also knows I will not hesitate to have him arrested the second he knocks on my door. Said child has had to deal with the loss of this parent in such a way that there was no real closure. I have been married for seven years and my current husband would love to be a REAL parent to said child. What is required of me and what steps would I need to take?

Thank you for any information you can provide me with.

Asked on 3/26/02, 1:34 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Brandon Manus Manus Law Office

Re: Termination of Rights after Abandonment

Your ex-husband's rights will need to be terminated first; either voluntarily or involuntarily. After that occurs, then you can begin the adoption procedure. There will be a social study and a criminal background check. If you live in the Dallas - Fort Worth area, please call me.

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Answered on 3/27/02, 1:39 pm
James Grissom Law Office of James P. Grissom

Re: Termination of Rights after Abandonment

There are so many good lawyers in the Dallas area to handle this matter for you. what you need is an involuntary termination of parental right which any reasonable judge will grant you. At the same time, you can obtain a step-parent adoption. This will cost a little money and there are procedural and time-related issues which must be addressed, so I can't begin to tell you how much it might cost. If you qualify, you might contact the local bar association to see if you can get a no-cost or low-cost procedure.

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Answered on 3/26/02, 2:30 pm
Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

Re: Termination of Rights after Abandonment

The process you want is actually a 2-step process. You need to terminate his parental rights and have your new husband adopt the child.

It is time consuming and fairly expensive. There must be a social study done and an attorney is appointed to represent the child (and perhaps the missing father). The husband will also need a police background check done to be sure that he is not wanted by the law anywhere.

If you live in the Houston area, please give me a call at 713-847-6000.

The last one done is my office cost approximately $5,000 for everything.

Best of luck!

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Answered on 3/26/02, 9:13 pm

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