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Can a parent with full custody of a child ask a judge to take the parental rights from the absent parent?

I really need some advice. I live in nc and have 2 little girls ages 7 & 8 I have full custody and their father has weekend visitation. I left their daddy in 2006 due to abuse he beat me everyday I couldn't take it anymore so I left and got sole custody of my girls the judge granted him weekend visitation. He was ordered to pay child support but he stays In jail for failure to pay. On top of that every weekend when he gets the girls he leaves them with his parents and they don't see him. He stays in and out of jail for commiting crimes mostly misdemeanors and probation violations. Some weekends I cant even let the girls go because he has no running water or food to feed them. So I geuss my question is can I take him to court and ask the judge to terminate his parental rights?

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Asked by chelleswing0208 at 2:45 AM on Jul. 8, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Yes. There's no point in having the visitation if it leads to child neglect. Get help from Legal Aid or a lawyer if you can afford one. Social services might even be able to advice you some. A good lawyer should be able to win this. Ask about a contingency fee unless you can find a pro bono lawyer. Keep documentation of everything, including conversations where he's admitted to leaving the kids with others and has no running water or food to feed them. The state does not want to be responsible for child neglect that arises from their orders.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 3:06 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • Thank you so much for your advice I really feel so alone in this

    Comment by chelleswing0208 (original poster) at 4:49 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • Most states require that there be a stepparent or someone willing to adopt the kids in order to terminate parental rights. So that might not be an option, unless you've remarried or something.

    However, you CAN go back to court and get his visitation rights taken. If you have proof of the fact that he often has no running water or food, and print out the proof of all his stays in jail, and get proof that he leave the girls with his parents (try to get independent proof, not your daughters' word, because you really don't want to put them in the middle of this like that if you don't have to), you should be able to show a judge all of that and convince him/her that your ex should not have visitation anymore.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:07 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • I was never married to their daddy but yes mam I am remarried now and my husband is more than willing to adopt them .shoot my husband besides myself is their sole provider the girls call him daddy! The only proof I have of him not having water or food is when he calls and says he can't get them because he doesn't have water and food ... wonder if the water company can give me documents of the water being shut off at his residence? I can definatley print out proof that he cant stay out of jail .the last thing I want to do is involve my daughters they have been threw enough already when it comes to even seeing him. They cry like babies every friday at 6 when its time to go it just breaks my heart for them because believe me if I honestly believed in my heart that he was doing his best for the girls I wouldn't be considering this.

    Comment by chelleswing0208 (original poster) at 7:28 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • You can try to get a statement from the utilities company confirming that there is no service at his address. However, I am not so sure they would go so far as to say that they had to turn off a specific person's service. You can at least try and even mention that you just want it confirmed for the address but you don't need to know his name mentioned in the letter. If they refuse to provide even a general statement, then you can also subpoena the utilities company for information. I usually try asking informally before having to subpoena because the process would be faster if they were willing to help.



    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:01 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • I highly advise finding a lawyer. It will be costly but worth it in the long-term to never have to deal with his BS again. Don't get just any lawyer (especially not off of Craigslists or classified ads). and are good places to shop for lawyers and also get a bit of free advice. You can post your case and question there and usually lawyers who are interested will respond. Usually a lawyer's website is a good indication of how organized they are. If it doesn't look professional and is lacking detailed information, skip them. You can also research them on to find reviews. If you involve social services, the state might prosecute on the child's behalf instead so you may not pay anything. Every state and locality is different though, so call the clerk of the court to ask or ask social services or a victim's advocate. Good luck!

    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:08 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • Ty so mich for all of your help

    Comment by chelleswing0208 (original poster) at 8:15 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • Rights terminated, not likely
    But visitations changed to supervised, more likely

    Good luck, that sucks for the kids and not great for you either

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:16 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • It really does suck for them ..when my husband and I got married we moved into a new place and the girls wanted their dad to see their new room so bad so I invited him over and when he got here he was drunker than a skunk falling all over my furniture so my husband made him leave . It reminded me so much of that country song walk alittle straighter daddy your leading me :/

    Comment by chelleswing0208 (original poster) at 8:23 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

  • hen he got here he was drunker than a skunk falling all over my furniture so my husband made him leave .

    get out your recorder when this shit happens
    that kind of stuff in court (if your lawyer can get a recording into court) might get the father visits supervised

    if court/judge will not submit video into court (? i do not know about this)
    THEN, have your lawyer ask for a guardian ad litem - the g.a.l. can watch a video like this and then advise judge that supervised visits are best for children

    get lawyer, go to court ask for g.a.l (you can tell gal ALL that goes on, and gal will interview the father too, plus gal can advise for drug tests etc) after going to a gal for a while, might have to do mediation- a waste of time and money might might have to play along with the court system and do it- but the gal is where you might get a court appointed person on your side, and gal will advise judge and has great pull with judge

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:15 AM on Jul. 8, 2013

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