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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>So the definition of parental abandonment in most states is x period of time with no support and no contact.  With modern support enforcement, a parent has to go off-grid or underground to evade support.  So what do I do?  Can I cancel support and have that count?  DD's father has not spoken with her in over a year, but makes regular payments though paycheck withholding. </p>
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<p>Does anyone have real world experience with this?  While we are waiting on adoption for a year or two, we will stop support now if it helps.  We're meeting with a lawyer in the next month or two.</p>
 

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<p>I had just posted a thread covering this issue in my province. Have you consulted the civil code as well as recent jurisprudence? It would help to see how other cases of legal abandonment in your state have turned out and how the ruling judge interpreted the law. Generally, the law is available online but few case rulings are; your lawyer will have access to recent jurisprudence and can give you guidance as to recent trends regarding this issue.</p>
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<p>Where I live, it would take AT LEAST 5 years of no contact + no support payments. What's unclear is how judges take into account the fact that almost all support payments here are garnished; in some case, parents make arrangements for payment themselves but most of the time, it saves hassles to just go with garnishment directly from a paycheck or from unemployment payments. In addition, judges seem reluctant to remove parental rights from a parent UNLESS there is direct danger to the child, as is the case when there has been sexual and/or physical violence inflicted on the child. In my case, it's simply abandonment (2 years now) even though his unemployment benefits were being garnished until last November. I assume that it will take another few years for me to be able to obtain a ruling for abandonment and then change DD's name.</p>
 

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Do not stop support payments. If the lack of support is because YOU stopped them, it will actually count against you. If support payments are stopped because of him, that's when it counts towards abandonment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>SSM - I see your point.  I just don't see how he can stop paying :(  It's not fair to DD that he can just ignore her like this.</p>
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You just need to speak to a lawyer about what abandonment actually is in your state. In some places no actual contact is enough as long as there is a step parent willing to adopt. But you will have to serve him, and he will have an opportunity to appear and defend himself.<br><br>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>Two years, no support and no contact, in our state (officially, according to my lawyer).  I'm crossing my fingers that he gets fired from this job and that his next job is under the table.</p>
 
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