At What Age Can a Child Decide Where to Live?
Minor children do not get to control where they live, or who they live with. It does not matter how mature your twelve-year-old may be, if your five-year old throws a tantrum during every parenting exchange, or if your seventeen-year-old already has his or her bags packed and has one foot out the door; they are still children. Minor children do not get to make parental decisions. You must follow the court ordered custody and parenting schedule, regardless of how much the
Signing Over Rights: Part Three
When I hear a parent saying that they lost their rights to their child, my first thought is always that the state took custody or the child was adopted; as those are the only ways a parent can lose their rights over a child. Even when a parent elects a guardian for the child, the parent does not relinquish his or her rights, they merely delegate his or her decision-making authority to someone else for a time. What many people mean when they say they lost their rights, is they
Signing Over Rights: Part Two
I am often asked if one parent can sign over his or her rights to a child. Usually, this question comes when either the noncustodial parent has had little involvement with the child, or would like less responsibility regarding the child; or, when the custodial parent wants to eliminate the noncustodial parent’s involvement with the child. The short answer is no; you cannot sign over your rights. In the courts eyes, if you made a kid, you are responsible for that kid. You do
Signing Over Rights: Part One
There’s a lot of misunderstanding out there about whether or not a parent can lose or voluntarily sign over rights to his or her child. Parental rights can only be severed when there is someone available to take the parent’s place. The rule of law in family and juvenile law matters is “best interests of the child”, understandably, the state’s position is that it is better for a child to have a parent and or caretaker, then to be floating around, "bastardized". (Yes, that is