The impact of irregular child support payments on adoption cases
It is not uncommon for a close bond to develop between a stepparent and his or her stepchild. In many instances, this bond contributes to the desire to legally adopt the stepchild.
Adoption can be a lengthy and complicated process, however, and the biological parent facing the loss of his or her parental rights may object to it altogether. What happens when the noncustodial parent of the child is significantly behind on his or her child support payments, and how can this affect the adoption process?
Is the biological parent involved in the child’s life?
The biological parent must consent to terminate his or her parental rights for adoption to occur. If the biological parent is not regularly involved in his or her child’s life, the need for consent may not be necessary.
According to Adoption.org, there are processes that evaluate the need for consent to proceed with an adoption. If a noncustodial biological parent is significantly behind on child support payments and does not regularly have contact with the child, he or she may lose the right to object to the adoption.
Is there a justifiable cause for the lapse in payment?
If there is not a legitimate reason that the noncustodial parent is behind on child support payments, the courts may withdraw his or her rights to object to the adoption. Court News Ohio cites the failure of one father to provide a legitimate reason for his lapse of payments as the basis for the court’s decision.
As the law pertains to the matter, one or two missed payments is not enough to strip a biological parent of his or her right to object to an adoption. A one-year lapse is generally enough to stop an objection.