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Thread: Child abandonment in Georgia???????? Georgia

  1. #1

    Default Child abandonment in Georgia???????? Georgia

    This is post I started last month in the Custody/Child Support forum. It's a long read but at the end you'll see my issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    #1 08-17-2006, 04:37 PM
    Dad Who's Tried
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    How Do I Terminate Rights That I Don't Have? California

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    Any advice out there would be welcome right now- I have a son who's 10 years old who lives in GA with his mom and dad, note I say dad because that's who he has been raised by and who he calls dad. His mother and I had an irresponsible night in college and she chose to have this child. I'm not listed on the birth certificate nor did I sign a Parental Declaration. I have voluntarily paid $500 a month in child support since he was born but admit that there hasn't been a relationship with this child because his mother said that once she got married, the man that she married would adopt our son and raise him as his own. With that being the understanding, I didn't want to form an emotional bond only to have to pull back or confuse a child. It only made sense for him to bond with the man who technically raised him since he was 2. Now flash forward, our son is 10 and the man who's raised him as his own has asked to adopt him, I've said yes and the birth mother is saying no. Quite frankly I'm upset. I've upheld my end of the arrangement and paid on time each month and have stayed in the background while they went on with their happy family because it was in the best interest of the child. But now the birth mother is deciding that this arrangement doesn't work for her. My opinion is that perhaps she doesn't want to readily give up the $500 each month that is essentially a gimme. I would say that I could petition to have my parental rights terminated but I don't have any! What I am considering now is terminating the direct deposit into her bank account next month and instead setting up a separate account for the child for the money to go into instead forcing her to take me to court. I do not wish to have the responsibility of providing support for a child that I don't see or have a relationship with (nor do I believe I want to until he's 18 and he can decide) and quite frankly he's got a dad, he's been raised by him for the last 8 years. Does anyone know how I should proceed at this point? Technically, I know the answer to this one. There is no CS order in place and we've never stepped foot in court. This has all been completely voluntary from my end. I just wanted to do the right thing.

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    #2 08-17-2006, 04:48 PM
    rainasky
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    If this arrangement doesn't work for the mother, yet she suddenly doesn't want her child legally adopted by his "Dad", what DOES she want? She cannot have her cake and eat it, too. You DO have rights, you just choose not to exercise them for fear of upsetting your son's life. Are you even sure this child is yours? Why not establish paternity (get a DNA test)? You could still allow the child to be adopted even if you're established as the legal biological father. If you ARE found to be the father, you'll be responsible for paying court-ordered child support but big whoop, you're already paying anyway. At least you'd be able to MEET and form a relationship with your child and ensure that this woman isn't just playing you for your generosity.

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    #3 08-17-2006, 04:53 PM
    Rodulu
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    Boy, I wish you were MY ex! Just kidding, it's just refreshing to hear about a non-custodial parent doing the right thing, not because he/she is forced to, but just because it's the right thing to do.

    As for what to do from here forward, it sounds like you are on the right track. My guess is that you should do as you thought, and put the funds into a separate account, so that in the event a court order is brought forth requiring you to pay, you have shown good faith, and you have the funds to do so.

    I wholeheartedly agree that it is not in the best interests of a ten year old to suddenly have a new dad show up in his life, when the only dad he's ever known is already a daily part of his life.

    One of the other more knowledgeable posters should be able to give you more legal info. Mostly I just wanted to "pat you on the back" for doing the right thing.

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    #4 08-17-2006, 04:54 PM
    Dad Who's Tried
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    We did a DNA test when he was 6 weeks old, that's why I started paying the child support, I don't question whether or not he's my child. What I do question is why she said from the beginning all she wanted was my financial support until she got married (she was dating the man she later married while she was pregnant), all the while I supported this arrangement feeling that it would be best for him to be raised in a dual parent household and involvement would be minimal at best since I'm in the military and deployed often. She only had a problem when I said I was ready to stop paying support. He's being raised in the best interest of this child and he's being supported in the same fashion. I have no rights yet I have all of the responsibility and quite frankly, I am being taken to the cleaner by her and her husband is even feeling as though this is inequitable as he wants to adopt the child.

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    #5 08-17-2006, 05:23 PM
    rainasky
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    If paternity has been established, and you are the LEGAL father then you DO have the same rights that she does. She does not have any legal right to yank you around like she has been. Is there a child support order or have you just been paying voluntarily? Did you know that if you've been paying w/o an order, that all the money you have given her counts as "gifts". You can still be held responsible for back child support?? I understand you wanting to do the right thing but do YOU want a relationship with your child?

    Have you spoken to an attorney about this adoption? You may be able to voluntarily relinquish your parental rights since her husband is willing to adopt the child, even if she objects. It's worth asking.

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    #6 08-18-2006, 07:43 AM
    Dad Who's Tried
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    No, I absolutely did not know that without a CS order all money counts as a gift. I had thought that if I could prove that through direct deposit into her account each month, it could be easily established that it was for child support. As I said, she is married and has been since 2000 to a man that she's gone on to have 2 more children with. They are a family. We always had an agreement that when they married, he would adopt my son so I never "bonded" with him because I felt that it would be confusing to him to have me play dad and then have this man who would live with him and raise him, step in and take over for me. It always made sense to just never become involved in the first place. Now she's saying she's changed her mind and won't allow her husband to adopt him. My argument is that our child couldn't pick me off of a crowded street. I couldn't pick him up from school if i wanted to. Sorry, but for all intents and purposes- he is my biological child but he is not my son. He has a dad and it's not me. It's really frustrating to know that the only connection here is the fiscal one. Do I want a relationship at this point, no. I feel that to come into his life now would be disruptive to say the least. Since I'm in the military and live on the opposite side of the country, the only time I would see him would be at Christmas and during summer vacations so visits would involve plane tickets and truthfully, I'm not sure how a 10 year old would feel about getting on a plane to come visit someone because the courts compelled them to. My answer now is that when he's old enough to seek me out, I will be ready and waiting but as of now, I do not feel the need to pursue the relationship and be disruptive in his life. I am not a "right-fighter". His best interests have always been first. Hence the voluntary child support. However, it is very difficult to subsidize a family unit when your nothing more than a shadow.

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    #7 08-18-2006, 07:58 AM
    mommyof4
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    I'm trying to figure out why she won't allow her husband to adopt (other than the money, of course). Did she never tell her son that his dad is not his "Dad"? Speak to an attorney. Unfortunately, I believe that as long as she is not in agreement with voluntary termination of rights and adoption, your going to be SOL. Your bargaining chip is going to be (whether you choose to use it or not is up to you) that if you are going to pay support, you are going to sue for visitation. It's a dirty move (sort of), but she's playing a dirty game. You may be surprised how quickly she changes her mind once she finds out that she will not be able to stop you from beginning a relationship with the child, if you so choose.

    I do want to add that you should be commended for doing the right thing when you have not been legally obligated to do so.
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    Last edited by mommyof4 : 08-18-2006 at 08:01 AM.

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    #8 08-18-2006, 08:09 AM
    Dad Who's Tried
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    She has told him that his "dad" isn't his dad. He knows about me and he refers to me by my surname. Her reasoning to him for why I'm not in his life is because I'm in the military and always out of the country, which is a partial truth, however; not even close to the real truth. She has said that if I wish to pursue a relationship with him now, she will sit him down and confess all, which I have told her I feel to be detrimental to him. I have also expressed to her how unfair she's been to my extended family (ie- mom, dad, brothers, etc) who have never come to know him because they too felt that he would be adopted by his "dad". I don't want to play dirty because that would only hurt the child. New development- I have told her that I intend to stop paying the voluntary child support effective 9/1 and I will begin to place the money into a separate account hoping to force her move. If she chooses to take me to court to seek a CS order, she'll need to establish paternity in GA even though we took a DNA test 10 years ago from my understanding, they need a whole new one for a CS order, and once paternity is established- I will seek to have rights terminated. She said that she can't afford the $3,500 attorney retainer because no attorney will come after someone who's in the military in a different state so if I stop the voluntary support, she will FEDEX the DNA results to my commanding officer under Chapter 15 rules and then the military will begin deducting from my pay against my will. Uuuggghh. I swear, if it's not one loophole, it's another. So I told her to go ahead, I will just file a motion in the CA courts to terminate my rights out here and she'll have to fly here to defend it. Now whether or not I can file it here, I don't know but I know this- I've been a gentleman about this whole affair. I've done the right thing. I've saved the emails where she admits to our agreement about me never being involved in the rearing of our child and how he would be adopted by her husband and how she changed her mind years later. I truly feel that I have a strong case. Bottom line, I have absolutely no relationship with this child and going after one now would cause more harm than good. But an attorney consult will probably be the only option at this point.

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    #9 08-18-2006, 08:13 AM
    mommyof4
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dad Who's Tried
    She has told him that his "dad" isn't his dad. He knows about me and he refers to me by my surname. Her reasoning to him for why I'm not in his life is because I'm in the military and always out of the country, which is a partial truth, however; not even close to the real truth. She has said that if I wish to pursue a relationship with him now, she will sit him down and confess all, which I have told her I feel to be detrimental to him. I have also expressed to her how unfair she's been to my extended family (ie- mom, dad, brothers, etc) who have never come to know him because they too felt that he would be adopted by his "dad". I don't want to play dirty because that would only hurt the child. New development- I have told her that I intend to stop paying the voluntary child support effective 9/1 and I will begin to place the money into a separate account hoping to force her move. If she chooses to take me to court to seek a CS order, she'll need to establish paternity in GA even though we took a DNA test 10 years ago from my understanding, they need a whole new one for a CS order, and once paternity is established- I will seek to have rights terminated. She said that she can't afford the $3,500 attorney retainer because no attorney will come after someone who's in the military in a different state so if I stop the voluntary support, she will FEDEX the DNA results to my commanding officer under Chapter 15 rules and then the military will begin deducting from my pay against my will. Uuuggghh. I swear, if it's not one loophole, it's another. So I told her to go ahead, I will just file a motion in the CA courts to terminate my rights out here and she'll have to fly here to defend it. Now whether or not I can file it here, I don't know but I know this- I've been a gentleman about this whole affair. I've done the right thing. I've saved the emails where she admits to our agreement about me never being involved in the rearing of our child and how he would be adopted by her husband and how she changed her mind years later. I truly feel that I have a strong case. Bottom line, I have absolutely no relationship with this child and going after one now would cause more harm than good. But an attorney consult will probably be the only option at this point.



    If you have proof that the child was going to be adopted, the step father is willing to attest to the fact that he still wants to adopt, and you agree (obviously you do) you *MIGHT* have a shot at TPR. It will be a slim chance, though. Good luck to you. It's too bad that the mother does not realize how very lucky she is that she concieved a child with a man that has been more than fair.
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    #10 Today, 03:22 PM
    Dad Who's Tried
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    I know it's been over a month since the last post on this thread but I have another question to anyone out there (especially anyone familiar with Georgia laws.) If you've read everything up to this point you pretty much get the big picture. Things turned somewhat civil between myself and the mother over the last month and I thought we were right there to get my rights terminated and have the child adopted by his stepfather. All parties are in agreement that this is what's best for the child (not that it was easy to get the mother to open her eyes to the fact). Now she is saying that if I cancel child support she will serve an arrest warrant on me for "child abandonment". Questions I have.....can she serve this warrant even though I am voluntarily providing child support? Again, there is no court order or any signed documentation. Her reasoning for this is to, and I quote, "TO PUBLICLY HUMILIATE YOU"..... Mind you, I am in the military and my reputation is on the line. Seems to me that she would love nothing more than to have the police come and carry me off in handcuffs from my work. Come to find out she has lost the DNA documentation and the lab has purged their files that are 7 years old or more (the DNA test was done 10 yrs ago) so there is no DNA documentation. Truthfully, I'm calling her bluff but if I have reasons to worry then I hope someone will please fill me in so I can cover my own backside.

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    Last edited by Dad Who's Tried : Today at 03:31 PM.

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    I have just been advised by my attorney that I can file criminal abandonment charges against my ex and it is because we have a child support order in place and he doesn't pay. So I think you might be safe on that one since you don't have the order. Also, I don't think they can go back and not count what you've already paid since there wasn't an order in place. GA can be pretty tough to deal with, but they seem to be pretty fair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mamab View Post
    I have just been advised by my attorney that I can file criminal abandonment charges against my ex and it is because we have a child support order in place and he doesn't pay. So I think you might be safe on that one since you don't have the order. Also, I don't think they can go back and not count what you've already paid since there wasn't an order in place. GA can be pretty tough to deal with, but they seem to be pretty fair.
    This is an old post, but this poster is in an unfortunate situation. Almost all back child support orders do not include monies that were already paid before the support order was in place. That money is considered a "gift". Is it fair? No, but that's how it works.

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    I know it's been over a month since the last post on this thread but I have another question to anyone out there (especially anyone familiar with Georgia laws.) If you've read everything up to this point you pretty much get the big picture. Things turned somewhat civil between myself and the mother over the last month and I thought we were right there to get my rights terminated and have the child adopted by his stepfather. All parties are in agreement that this is what's best for the child (not that it was easy to get the mother to open her eyes to the fact). Now she is saying that if I cancel child support she will serve an arrest warrant on me for "child abandonment". Questions I have.....can she serve this warrant even though I am voluntarily providing child support? Again, there is no court order or any signed documentation. Her reasoning for this is to, and I quote, "TO PUBLICLY HUMILIATE YOU"..... Mind you, I am in the military and my reputation is on the line. Seems to me that she would love nothing more than to have the police come and carry me off in handcuffs from my work. Come to find out she has lost the DNA documentation and the lab has purged their files that are 7 years old or more (the DNA test was done 10 yrs ago) so there is no DNA documentation. Truthfully, I'm calling her bluff but if I have reasons to worry then I hope someone will please fill me in so I can cover my own backside.

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    Last edited by Dad Who's Tried : Today at 03:31 PM.[/QUOTE]

    First off other than embrassing you with your CO, the military is no longer allowed without court order to garnish your salary. Nor will the police come on your job site and throw you in handcuffs,,,unless they are a very strange police force. Go to legal and use that free legal that is there for you. Also you could call legal at Ft McPherson

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    This thread is over a year old.
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