Question asked on Mar 16th, 2017

Q: My daughter biological father has had no contact for over 2 years , he was abusive to me and my daughter .he has a long violent/nonviolent criminal record and charges that I pressed against him .he has never helped me with clothing, food , doctor copays ..ect…. My current fiance would like to adopt her when we get married later down the road but the first step is that I would like to get the biological fathers Rights terminated, how would i do this? And would i have a good chance ? he lives in NC I live in NV . she can’t be with him he is to violent and I would be scared for her to ever be in his care .

A: Before you can proceed, the critical question is “jurisdiction” — to answer the question of which State can proceed.  You do not say whether you were ever married to the bio dad, or whether any court orders for custody or support are in place and, if so, where they were entered and whether anyone still lives in that place, but those questions will tell you where a termination of parental rights (TPR) can can proceed.  For an explanation of TPR and adoption procedures in Nevada, see here and here.  An article called “The Basics of Family Law Jurisdiction” (also on our site) will lead you through a jurisdiction analysis, but if you are not sure and want to talk to someone about where to proceed, get the answers to the above questions together and call during business hours and we will do the jurisdiction analysis and tell you.

Marshal S. Willick