Divorce Solutions

Question #7

I have sole custody of my son. I am remarried and have been for three years. My son will be five this summer. My ex-husband has not seen him or even tried to contact him since our divorce four years ago. My husband would like to adopt my son. He has only known my husband as his father. We have contacted a lawyer and have begun proceedings to take away parental rights. After hiring a private investigator, I finally found him and served papers on him to contact my attorney regarding this situation. He had then hired his own attorney and said he would fight us all the way. Now the question is: If he has not tried to contact my son or send any kind of gift for holidays-birthdays, NO CHILD SUPPORT, or anything, why should he have the right to this child. This is very unfair. My son will start Kindergarten in the fall and will be registered under my husband’s last name, not legally. What can we do to get my ex to sign off on my son forever so my husband can adopt him, and we can go on being a “happy family”? Please help as soon as possible!

I strongly suggest that you try to mediate this matter with your ex-husband. If he has not made any attempt to reach your child or to maintain any relationship with your son, he may be willing to allow you to have your present husband adopt the child if you offer him some incentive to cooperate. You could discuss with him his obligations to support and maintain a relationship with his son, which he has neglected over the years and which you may seek to have the courts enforce unless he agrees to allow the adoption.

If mediation proves unsuccessful, I recommend that you contact a divorce attorney in your area who has specific experience in such matters and who can assist you in seeking custody from the courts. Generally, this is a matter which the courts will scrutinize very carefully since your ex-husband is the biological father, and it is a radical move for courts to terminate a parental relationship.

Good luck!

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions