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charityjones 03-27-2007 09:57 AM

Ad Litem
 
I spoke to the District Clerk's office to find out if a home study would be required and was informed that the home study would NOT be required, BUT an Ad Litem for the child IS required. We were trying to do all of this pro se, so anyone know how that will work?

InBlindFaith 03-27-2007 11:08 AM

My case might be a little extreme because my ex is refusing to sign the TPR...he wants the courts to decide if he should be allowed to keep his rights :grr:

Anyway, this is what I was told. We would have to serve him with the TPR (done!). Then we have to complete a Home Study and DH has to go through a background check. Then we have to hire an Attorney for DD so she is represented. We have to hire an Attorney to represent the ex if he doesn't have the means to do so.

The Attorney for DD is a simple thing, they will meet with DD talk to her and they will go before the Judge and tell him who she wants to be her dad.

How did you get out of a Home Study? Lucky!!

charityjones 03-27-2007 11:32 AM

Well, my case is a little easier :)

My ex WANTS to sign the relinquishment due to not wanting to pay child support (friggin dead beat!).

I have my forms ready, but I haven't filed anything yet. I'm going to call my ex & make sure everything is still a go, before I shell out $200 filing fee. Then he'll sign forms! We'll have the background check done on my hubby and then I don't know really about the Ad Litem thing.

See, there's a paragraph in the petition that states:

Petitioners request the Court to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the child the subject of this suit.
Petitioners request the Court appoint a guardian ad litem or attorney ad litem to represent the interests of any party entitled to the appointment of a guardian ad litem or an attorney ad litem.

See, I don't realy know what happens. Is the court actually going to appoint an ad litem for my DD? Should I just wait & see what happens? I don't want to be unprepared! :confused:

charityjones 03-27-2007 11:35 AM

Oh yeah....

Home study is not required by Texas Law for step-parent adoption, so it's totally up to the judge :)

InBlindFaith 03-27-2007 01:18 PM

My ex doesn't want to pay child support either and he doesn't want to sign the TPR...which is why mine is going to be on that extreme side.

We are using an Attorney for all of this (for obvious reasons) and I think we can be proactive in choosing an Ad Litem.

What county are you in? I wonder if the Home Study is required in Collin County...hmmm. I really don't want to stress myself out over a Home Study!!

rsbg 03-27-2007 06:35 PM

I'd like more info... we just received signed relinquishment papers this weekend, met with our Attorney yesterday and I am trying to find someone to do the home study for cheap (all the ones I've talked to charge $750-$1000!). Is it really up to the judge? If so, that would save us a LOT of money!

charityjones 03-28-2007 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InBlindFaith
My ex doesn't want to pay child support either and he doesn't want to sign the TPR...which is why mine is going to be on that extreme side.

We are using an Attorney for all of this (for obvious reasons) and I think we can be proactive in choosing an Ad Litem.

What county are you in? I wonder if the Home Study is required in Collin County...hmmm. I really don't want to stress myself out over a Home Study!!


yeah, yours is on the extreme side! My ex actually refused to sign the TPR last year, but since the Attorney General has been hassling him about paying child support all the time, and they told him they will take away his income tax refund this year, he's getting frustrated & doesn't want to deal with losing his drivers license, going to jail, losing tax refund & all that, so he's practically begging me to let him sign!! Yay!

I really didn't want to pay an attorney (can't afford it) for any of this b/c it's just such an easy case now, but now they say Ad Litem is required....don't know how much that will cost!?!?!?

I bet that Collin County won't require a home study. Texas law doesn't require it, and I know my county doesn't (I'm in Smith county). I know that Denton county doesn't b/c I know a girl that did the adoption there without having to do the home study. You could call you district clerk & ask, that's what I did. I heard that the HS is pretty painless though, if you do have to go through one.....just a pain :) Your attorney would know too I guess.

charityjones 03-28-2007 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rsbg
I'd like more info... we just received signed relinquishment papers this weekend, met with our Attorney yesterday and I am trying to find someone to do the home study for cheap (all the ones I've talked to charge $750-$1000!). Is it really up to the judge? If so, that would save us a LOT of money!


Well, I know that the HS is NOT a Texas requirement if it's a STEP-PARENT doing the adoption! (I'm not sure if you're referring to that?) You can call the court clerk's office & ask them if the judge will require a home study. If the judge requires this, you will go in front of him, and ask him to appoint a person that is capable of doing this in your county. It usually costs about $300 (what I was told). After the person is appointed, call them & set up a time for them to come to your home & ask a ton of questions. They have 30 days to file their report with the clerk's office.

This is all info I was given about the Home Study! Of course, if you are not referring to SP adoption, then your situation will be different, but I'm not sure how.

InBlindFaith 03-28-2007 08:53 AM

The AG's office was putting pressure on him and he didn't care. So we took over the enforcement from them (he hasn't made a payment in over a year). I'm standing my ground and I won't back down, so we are taking this step by step.

I just had all of my stuff transferred from Denton County last year. I'm wondering now if my Attorney is the one who wants the Home Study done so there will be no questions. We want this to be done all nice and neat so he can not come back years later and have it over turned.

I know I will worry about my house being "clean enough" when the Homestudy happens. LOL!! Guess I need to get a ladder and clean on top of the doors.

My attorney told us at the end of the year we will be able to turn this in on our taxes for the adoption tax credit. We needed to talk to our CPA about it. The termination part we can't write off, but we can the adoption part.

charityjones 03-28-2007 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InBlindFaith
The AG's office was putting pressure on him and he didn't care. So we took over the enforcement from them (he hasn't made a payment in over a year). I'm standing my ground and I won't back down, so we are taking this step by step.

I just had all of my stuff transferred from Denton County last year. I'm wondering now if my Attorney is the one who wants the Home Study done so there will be no questions. We want this to be done all nice and neat so he can not come back years later and have it over turned.

I know I will worry about my house being "clean enough" when the Homestudy happens. LOL!! Guess I need to get a ladder and clean on top of the doors.

My attorney told us at the end of the year we will be able to turn this in on our taxes for the adoption tax credit. We needed to talk to our CPA about it. The termination part we can't write off, but we can the adoption part.

I have had problems with the AG also, but I call them & bug the heck out of them like once a week! It really keeps them going I think. I notice that things seem to move faster as long as I keep calling. He hasn't made a payment in almost 10 months, and now they are threatening to put him on probation & have ordered to take his tax refund. They would order to garnish his wages, but he's either working "under the table" or they just can't find his place of employment yet. I figure it's the 1st of those 2.

It may be the attorney that's requesting the HS. The girl that did her SP adoption in Denton county, said it was so easy, that no attorney was needed. Of course, the bio-dad didn't put up a fight on hers either.

I don't think that they will be looking for a spotless house. They will just come to ask you TONS of questions! And you have to figure, considering some of the home's they have to go to, yours will look GREAT! :) I know they see some real slums when they go out to do studies on people that are trying to keep their kids, but don't provide a good home for em, ya know?

Wow, I didn't know about getting to use the adoption tax credit!! That would be great!

InBlindFaith 03-29-2007 04:44 AM

The more I think about it, the more I think the Home Study will only help show this is in the best interest of DD. I'll still be nervous...even though I have no need to be. I wonder if we get to pick the person to do the home study. During the divorce my ex requested a Social Study (and he never perticipated in), the lady who did ours was a blessing in disguise. I'd love to have her, plus she would have info from the social study done in 2003. Would that be possible?

I wonder if all of this is required because we are requesting the Judge to terminate if the ex still refuses. Leave it to me to be the oddball with the weird situation. LOL!

charityjones 03-29-2007 06:48 AM

centraltx dad,

I'm NOT surprised that you had to go through all that in Travis county! I have a little brother get into some legal trouble in Travis county, and we found that the legal system there was really difficult :)

I think each county decides their own rules about the issue, so it could go either way. My county is requiring an Ad Litem for the child, but some counties don't even require that!

Good luck with your Home Study!

charityjones 03-29-2007 06:52 AM

Roni,
I bet you are right...sounds like the HS would be a good thing in your situation. I'd be nervous too, but that's just stressful being interrigated like that. :) Good thing is, by doing the HS, you have proof in court that you can provide a healthy, stable home for the child. That will be to your advantage when you're battling it out with the ex!!

stepadoptionblog 04-20-2007 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by InBlindFaith

My attorney told us at the end of the year we will be able to turn this in on our taxes for the adoption tax credit. We needed to talk to our CPA about it. The termination part we can't write off, but we can the adoption part.


As far as I know stepparent adoptions are still excluded from the adoption tax credit, I would definitely check up on that! If you do find out that they are now eligible for the tax credit, then please do post the information back here on the forums. I searched a great deal yesterday and could not find any information stating that they were now included.

Stepparent Adoption Blog


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