In our last blog post, we explained some of the basics to a stepparent adoption. In Texas, a stepparent adoption works as a two-step process with a judge to get your spouse legal custody of your child. Since Texas law only allows two people as conservators or parents for a child, the other biological parent must waive their parental rights by signing them over. When this is done, they no longer have a say in decisions for the child, lose their visitation rights, and also are no longer required to pay child custody. But when they refuse to let go of their parental rights what happens next?
This is a situation where legal representation makes all the difference. The other parent is likely to fight back and contest because once decided, the removal of custody is irrevocable. Essentially, Texas Family Law statutes require you need to prove to a judge the other biological parent is unfit to care for your child. At Woods, May & Matlock, we have the experience you need a family lawyer for child custody in Frisco, TX.
What a Judge Seeks in Parental Rights Termination Cases?
You’ll need the court to approve a petition to terminate the biological parent’s rights to your child. Here are some ways Texas courts will side with you:
- Share with the court evidence your ex has not paid child support for at least one year.
- Prove the other parent is completely absent from your child’s life. If you don’t have contact information to locate your ex, a newspaper notification is one way to prove they are no longer regularly with your child.
- Show the other parent isn’t involved with the child. If they don’t have a regular relationship with your child or any plan to make one the court may side in your favor.
- Present evidence or testimony the biological parent is abusive or negligent in taking care of your child. Testimony from your child, teachers, your child’s physician, and any counselors or therapists may be required to support your case.
- Show the other parent has been in jail for two or more years and is unable to fulfill their parental duties.
Don’t expect this to be an easy process but have hope in the outcome. The judge will want to see at least one solid argument like the above options but can be difficult to convince. Make sure you hire an attorney with a strategic plan to help you win and the solid communication skills to speak to the judge and keep you up to date on the case status. Once termination is done, the stepparent adoption process can begin.
Get your stepparent adoption off on the right start by hiring an experienced family lawyer for child custody in Frisco, TX at Woods, May & Matlock. Give us a call today for a brief free phone consultation at 972-387-9955.