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Grounds For Termination Of Father's Rights in Illinois

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  • Grounds For Termination Of Father's Rights in Illinois

    My ex and I divorced 4 years ago. He left me and our 3 children to be with another woman who was 5 months pregnant with another man's child. In our divorce proceedings I was granted sole custody and I agreed to let him have visitation rights every other weekend. In the 4 years that we've been divorced he and his live-in girlfriend have had 3 children of their own. He has shown little interest in being a father to our children and has only paid about 8 months child support total because of his inability to hold a job. They have been living in their current home for over a year now without running water because they didn't pay their bill and last year DCFS was investigating them for neglecting their own children. I know for a fact that in the past few years he has gotten into the drugs quite heavily, both dealing and using. They also have a pit bull living in the house with them that is very aggressive. I decided that it was in the best interest of my children not to let them go to his house because of these things. I made it clear to him that he was free to visit them at anytime here at my house or even at his parent's home, but he has refused. Recently I remarried and my new husband is in the Navy and he is stationed in Hawaii. We are planning on moving later in July and he has been made aware of this. Now that he knows of our intent to move he's decided that he had better start showing an interest. However, his interest involves harrassing telephone calls where I'm called vulgar names and accused of 'brainwashing' the kids because they don't want anything to do with him. He's made threats directly towards me and other members of my family and I just don't know what to do. He says that I can't leave the state with the kids because it's just not 'fair'. My husband would love to adopt my kids, but I know that their father would never agree to that. He's the type that can't be reasoned with. So, my questions are these;

    1. What do the courts consider grounds for the termination of a father's rights in the state of Illinois?

    2. On what grounds will the court find the non-custodial parent unfit?

    3. If moving to Hawaii as a family is in the best interest of my children and I have sole custody, can he prevent this move?

    4. What steps do I need to take to start an adoption process knowing that the non-custodial parent will not agree to?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated because at this point I am pretty much beside myself and not sure which step to take first. Thanks.

  • #2
    Is there anything in the custody papers regarding moving the children?
    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)

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    • #3
      No, there is nothing regarding moving the kids out of state. It simply states that I have full custody. My ex didn't even bother to show up for our divorce proceedings so the judge appointed me whatever I wanted basically. I really need to know how to go about doing this because I'm really concerned for my children's welfare and the impression that his lifestyle will leave upon them.

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      • #4
        My suggestion for moving is to send your ex a certified letter with return reciept stating the details of the move 60 days before you move. He will then have to petition the court and explain WHY you shouldn't be allowed to move. In other words, the ball will be in his court. As he has been so reliable in the past, he may not even do anything legally. He can ***** all he wants, but that doesn't stop the move. If he does nothing during that 60 day window, you are free to move. If he does take it to court, you have the edge here. If you have sole physical and legal custody and can explain to the judge how and why the move is best for the children, I don't really see a big problem here. Of course the judge will have to agree, but there is a reason you were given sole custody. That doesn't happen that often, believe it or not.

        To terminate his parental rights, you would have to file in court, unless he will agree to sign them over so your husband can adopt the children. You will need proof as to why he is an unfit parent. (documented drug abuser, abuse to the children, extreme neglect, abandonment- in most states that means NO contact, not even garnished child support for 12 months). You cannot start the adoption until his parental rights are terminated or he signs them over.
        HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
        How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
        (unique up on him)
        How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
        (same way)

        Comment


        • #5
          Actually, I wrote him a letter giving him a detailed list of my intentions and had it notarized and then sent it to him certified. I actually gave him more of a 90 day notice, but he refuses to even sign for the letter at the post office. I did make a copy for my own records though. I can't imagine him actually 'legally' trying to stop us from moving since that would mean filing a petition with the court system in which he already has a warrant out for failure to appear (child support case). I'm more worried about what he might do otherwise, being as unstable as he is right now which is why I'm interested in having his rights terminated. I'm wondering if I should actually start trying to have this done now, or if we would be better off until after we've moved and out of harm's way. I appreciate the advice that you've given and welcome any more that you might have to offer.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mamaof3
            Actually, I wrote him a letter giving him a detailed list of my intentions and had it notarized and then sent it to him certified. I actually gave him more of a 90 day notice, but he refuses to even sign for the letter at the post office. I did make a copy for my own records though. I can't imagine him actually 'legally' trying to stop us from moving since that would mean filing a petition with the court system in which he already has a warrant out for failure to appear (child support case). I'm more worried about what he might do otherwise, being as unstable as he is right now which is why I'm interested in having his rights terminated. I'm wondering if I should actually start trying to have this done now, or if we would be better off until after we've moved and out of harm's way. I appreciate the advice that you've given and welcome any more that you might have to offer.
            Is there any way you can get any of the reports made by CPS (or whatever agency you have there) regarding his living conditions and the status of the investigation involving neglect? (Pictures and/or video of the house would be helpful, too) Do you have any proof of his drug activities? (In other words, are there any police reports?) Tapes made of the harassing phone calls? Definitely remember the pit bull. If you have pictures or video, or can have someone else testify to the dog being there, even better.

            I ask, because if you have proof that he is a danger (or neglectful to your children while in his care) to your children, you have a much better chance of having a judge rule in your favor.

            The post office will send him a last notice for the letter. If he does not sign for it, the post office will send you a notice that he never signed. Keep the copies of the letter and the notice when you get it. If you have informed him of the intent to move and he does nothing legally about it, you'r e fine.
            HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
            How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
            (unique up on him)
            How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
            (same way)

            Comment


            • #7
              I contacted DCFS today to request copies of their findings and apparently they have a NEW case against them currently. The investigator is suppose to get in touch with me because she wants to ask me a few questions about what I know. Hopefully, this will all work in my favor.

              As far as the police reports, he's never been arrested on any drug charges. He's been arrested for harrassing phone calls though. (Not to me but an ex girlfriend). He currently has 2 outstanding warrants for his arrest and I'm not sure how I would go about getting proof of that.

              I don't know how I would go about getting any pictures or video of the conditions of the house, but I do have others who have seen it for themselves willing to testify. Both about the condition of the inside of the house and the presence of the pit bull. (Which is a REAL factor to me) I just can't fathom why anyone with such small children would want to keep an animal like that around.

              Hopefully with DCFS opening a new case against them for neglect will work in my favor. (I hope...)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mamaof3
                I contacted DCFS today to request copies of their findings and apparently they have a NEW case against them currently. The investigator is suppose to get in touch with me because she wants to ask me a few questions about what I know. Hopefully, this will all work in my favor.

                As far as the police reports, he's never been arrested on any drug charges. He's been arrested for harrassing phone calls though. (Not to me but an ex girlfriend). He currently has 2 outstanding warrants for his arrest and I'm not sure how I would go about getting proof of that.

                I don't know how I would go about getting any pictures or video of the conditions of the house, but I do have others who have seen it for themselves willing to testify. Both about the condition of the inside of the house and the presence of the pit bull. (Which is a REAL factor to me) I just can't fathom why anyone with such small children would want to keep an animal like that around.

                Hopefully with DCFS opening a new case against them for neglect will work in my favor. (I hope...)
                well, there ya' go! As to the warrants, some counties, towns, whatever have a website that lists persons wanted for arrest. They also sometimes run the info in the newspaper. Call the county or town where he is wanted and ask how to get that information. Somebody should tell you. Good luck.
                HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
                How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
                (unique up on him)
                How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
                (same way)

                Comment

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