By Kenny Leigh
MEMORANDUM OF LAW
Client is physically and financially unable to care for his children. He would like to pursue terminating his parental rights and having his Former Wife’s new husband adopt the children so that he will not be liable for child support through the Department of Revenue.
Issue: What needs to be done to terminate parental rights so a stepparent can adopt minor children?
A parent or legal guardian can directly place a child up for adoption by the child’s stepparent. Stepparent adoptions have slightly different procedural requirements than regular adoptions. A stepparent adoption does not require that parental rights be terminated pending adoption. The Final Judgment of Adoption terminates the parental rights while simultaneously granting the adoption. Fla. Stat. 63.102(6). Further differences are there is no requirement for a preliminary home investigation report and no required waiting period before a hearing can be held. Also, the adoption does not need to be reported to the Department of Children and Family Services.
In order for a stepparent to adopt a child, the father must file a valid consent with the court. Fla. Stat. 63.122(1). The consent must be an affidavit acknowledged by a notary public and witnessed by two witnesses. Fla. Stat. 63.802. The notary public cannot serve as a witness. Id. There must be a statement that the consent was voluntarily executed, and the adopting parent should be identified. Id. If the adopting parent is not identified, there must be a statement that the consent was voluntarily executed and the adopting parent did not need to be identified for the consent. Id. The notary must note the date and time of execution of the consent. Further, the consent must be written in at least twelve point typeface. Id.
To move forward with a stepfather adopting our client’s children, we need to execute a valid consent and file it with the court. The father does not need to be present at the adoption proceedings after the consent is filed.
If you are a father undergoing a divorce, it’s important to ensure that there is a plan in place that outlines the shared responsibilities that you and your current wife will bear in relation to the rearing of your children. Child custody is an important part of divorce proceedings, and the parenting plan is a necessary step in this process.
A divorce mediation is an important part of the divorce process. During the mediation, both parties in the divorce will sit down with one another, in the presence of their respective divorce attorneys, and discuss or outline what each party will receive in the divorce, how assets will be divided after the divorce, how child care will proceed after the divorce, and much more. This can be a frustrating and emotionally taxing time, especially if spouses are still living in the same home with one another.
Kenny Leigh and Associates is a reputable law firm in the Florida area that offers several different locations of service and a very unique approach to the complicated, personal, and often heartbreaking world of family law. Kenny Leigh and Associates practices family law only, and is committed to serving only men with family law needs. This law firm is proud to offer services in a brand new location. This new location will allow Kenny Leigh and Associates to expand its reach and allow a wider population of men to benefit from the attorneys’ unique experience and professionalism.