Thursday, October 16, 2008

Parental Rights: Giving Up Parental Rights

Dear Famularo & Associates: My wife and I recently divorced in Riverside County, California. About six months ago, I moved to Arizona. My ex-wife now refuses to allow our five-year-old daughter to visit me. I have not seen her since even though I have been paying my child support and have never been late. My ex-wife remarried a few weeks ago. I would like to sign over my parental rights. B.F. in Murrieta Dear B.F. In order to sign over your parental rights, your ex-wife must agree to allow you to do so. If your ex-wife is interested in allowing you to relinquish your parental rights, she must file a lawsuit. This would either be a termination proceeding or an adoption proceeding. If your daughter's step-father wishes to adopt your daughter, an adoption proceeding would be appropriate. If, on the other hand, the step-father does not wish to adopt your daughter, your ex-wife must file a termination of parental rights proceeding. The court has the discretion to refuse to allow your rights to be terminated if no one is adopting the child and the court is not satisfied that your ex-wife has the financial ability to care for your daughter without your support. If your ex-wife refuses to allow your parental rights to be terminated, you must continue to pay child support for your daughter even if you have no visitation. Child support and visitation are separate issues, and your ex-wife's refusal to allow your daughter to visit you does not forgive your obligation to help support your daughter. If you would like to have any sort of relationship with your daughter, you must go back to court and get the judge to order a visitation schedule that will work for you in the state of Arizona. Famularo & Associates Temecula Attorneys