If I’ve had custody of my kids for 9 years during which time their mother hasn’t exercized her right to visit, cn I petition the courts to sever her parental rights?

She has never called to say “hi” to them, even though our oldest child has her own phone now. Their mother has never gone to any of their school events, which I have always sent her invitations to. I’ve tried allowing the kids to call her but the number she listed with the courts has been disconnected for 3 years and recently I’ve discovered that the address she listed leads to a vacant business building for rent. My children and I are at a point in our lives now where we would like to move on.

Asked on September 22, 2012 under Family Law, Virginia


Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I don't think you can and I don't think you should. The reason I don't think you can is courts are generally reluctant to terminate a parent's rights. Mostly because they want to ensure the child support continues and if the parent's rights are terminated so other responsibilities such as paying child support.

The reason I don't think you should is, aside from the fact that you will terminate your right to receive child support, you may sparking interest in parenting time from the other parent once he/she get a copy of the paperwork.  A court will entertain that application to try to stagger it and add counseling to help the children transition. So, if you do not want the other parent involved, I would not file anything.

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