How do I go about signing away my husband’s rights to my daughter?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How do I go about signing away my husband’s rights to my daughter?

My ex and I both want to terminate his own rights to my daughter. Story we were together, had our son together, got married after he was born. Stayed married with issues for the next year and a few months. He had cheated on me right before the day we got married, and I’m assuming a few other times in that year as well. I know he had multiple relations with women after he kicked me out, and cheated on his

Asked on July 8, 2016 under Family Law, Iowa


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Voluntary terminations are certainly easier than involuntary terminations... but you really don't need a termination petition.  What needs to happen is for you to file for divorce and have the court make an affirmative finding that your husband is not the father of this child.  After this finding, he will no longer be the father and will have no rights to her.  Depending on your local judge, the judge may want you to combine the court with a paternity suit to officially declare the real father as the legal father of your daughter.  If not required by your judge, this can be done in a separate suit.
If your current boyfriend is the father of your daughter, then he can be adjudicated as the father of your daughter in the divorce or in a separate paternity suit.  If your current boyfriend is not the father, then you will need to first terminate the real father's rights and then proceed to have your boyfriend adopt the child.  You are correct that most judge's are hesitant to terminate rights without a 'father ready to adopt' because they do not want to make the child fatherless.
I do understand that an attorney has quoted you $750.00'ish to get this done.  I would suggest that you get a second quote.  For the hoops and drafting that needs to be done for this type of case, this sounds a little low.  It could be just a bargain, but sometimes bargain representation ends up being sub-par representation.  It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion from another local attorney.

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