My ex-wife violated my visitation rights by moving my daughter out of state six months ago. I haven’t seen her since and have barely talked to her. Is this grounds to terminate my parental rights and end child support payments?
I am not licensed to practice in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child custody and support.
I am working under the assumption that your decree of divorce is still in your state and no one has done the work to move it to the state that your ex-wife and daughter are living. If that is the case, your decree is enforceable in the courts in your state and not yet in the courts where your wife and daughter are. Therefore, any action you choose to take will need to be done in your state.
Usually, you cannot terminate your parental rights just because you don’t want to pay child support anymore. If your ex-wife is willing to stipulate (agree) that you should be allowed to terminate your parental rights, you will have a better chance of being able to. I understand that you have extenuating circumstances in that you don’t want to pay child support for a child that you are not able to have a relationship with.
Another option would be to ask the courts in your state to enforce the decree of divorce. Most decrees should address what happens when one parent moves more than 150 miles from the other parent. If she did not abide by the terms of the decree prior to her relocation, she could be held in contempt. The court will not likely order her to return, but they can determine whether child custody should be changed and/or how parent-time should work now that the parents live further apart.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general child custody tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.