My Ex Hasn’t Seen Our Son for Years. Can I Have His Parental Rights Terminated?

‘I have a child from a previous marriage and my ex husband and his family were in my son’s life up until his second birthday, which was the last time they saw him. Shortly after that I stopped receiving child support from them. My son is now six so it has been years since they have even attempted/seen my son or sent child support. A few years back I tried to go through a lawyer you posted in the local paper, trying to take my ex husband’s rights away and just before the deadline my ex husband came to my lawyer’s office to contest the petition. The petition stated he had to send a written statement to the court yet my lawyer still accepted him contesting personally and said I would have to go to court and pay her more to fight this even though he didn’t even answer the petition correctly. My question is how much legal standing do I have to take away my ex-husband’s rights over my child? He has not been a part of his life in any shape or form for 4 years now and hasn’t even tried (we live in the same small town). He doesn’t even have custody of his first child from a previous relationship because he was found to be unfit. His second ex wife can and will write a letter in my defense and against his character….what should I do?’

You do not have any standing or right to take away your ex-husband’s parenting rights, and it’s a bit shocking that the attorney took your money to supposedly do that. The court simply will not terminate a parent’s rights, absent a truly serious situation, such as the parent physically abusing the child to the point of endangering their life, or otherwise seriously endangering them.

The one exception to this general rule is that if the custody parent is remarrying, and the new spouse wishes to adopt the child, *and* if the biological parent agrees to the adoption, then the Court may terminate the biological parent’s rights to allow the adoption to move forward. But short of that scenario, you would almost certainly find it impossible to terminate his rights.