Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

Hi and thank you to anyone taking the time to read this.

My question is concerning the father of my oldest two sons voluntarily signing over his rights and my husband adopting them.

I currently live in Washington state with my husband, my two sons, and our two other children (that are biological his and mine). He is in the navy and we are stationed here.

My sons were born in the state of Florida and that is also where the biological father still resides.

He is ordered to pay child support, but owes about $12,000 in back pay. We were never married and he left his sons and I when they were 1 and 2 (they are now 9 and 7). There has never been a custody agreement and he has not seen them since 2008 and has no contact with them at all. My husband has been the 'acting father' for about 6 years now (we've been married for 5) and they have been listed as his dependents in the navy for over 4 years now (not that it means anything to the courts, I presume).

I have asked him if he is willing to sign over his parental rights so that my husband can adopt him and he agreed. So how do we go about doing this considering that he is in Florida and we are all the way up here in Washington?

I have an appointment with Navy legal in 2 weeks to discuss the matter and have them help us file paperwork, but I'm a little impatient and just want to see if anyone has done this before and what it might entail.

I would also like anyone's advice as to whether this is something we should do on our own (with help from navy legal aid) or if we are better off finding a local attorney.

Thanks again!

Asked on 1/02/14, 1:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gary Preble Preble Law Firm, P.S.

You would definitely need an attorney. We handle these matters but Bellingham is too far from our office in Olympia. The process will take more than 2 weeks, and if Navy legal can handle it, it would certainly be a cheaper route.

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Answered on 1/02/14, 3:03 pm

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