Custody - FL

I applied for my daughters passport - her dad signed the birth certificate but he has been absent from her life for over 10 years. She’s 12 now. & the last I heard he got out of jail for the second time & is now married. Even though I don’t have any documentated proof - I don’t feel as if she would be safe or even me once he knows I want to file for full custody since he has been a ghost. But anyways they denied her passport application with the form that explains he has been absent and idk where he is & said he needs to indeed provide documentation or I need to file for full custody. They won’t give me a refund for her passport application fee and idk how to contact him and honestly don’t want to. He’s not on child support or anything I have been doing this 100% alone since she was a baby. I want to file for full custody. Do I need to get a lawyer? I know he has rights since he signed her BC but my daughter has made it clear she wants NOTHING to do with him ever and doesn’t want to build a relationship with him. If I file for full custody & he magically decides he wants to be a father would the courts side with him in any way? Even if my daughter wants nothing to do with him Also, I’m moving to a new state in a few weeks should I file in FL or my new state. He lives in FL - I think
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Judge should definitely take her feelings into consideration. Good luck

I would get a free consult with a lawyer in Florida and ask about the whole newspaper listing thing and see if it’s a possibility there. I’m not sure if it worked here (Oklahoma) solely because of state laws or if it was partially due to it being assumed he was in the same state. If you don’t like the answers you get in FL, consult someone else when you move.

Since she’s almost 11, if she wants nothing to do with him on top of him being absent all these years, there’s no way a judge would side with him even if he decided to go for custody. But honestly if you’re not looking for CS, just a termination of rights I have no clue why he would even fight you. My mom went through something like this with my brother. Filed for termination of rights on the basis of abandonment because she wanted to legally change his last name/her husband adopt him. His dad had only been MIA for 2.5 years. My mom stated she had no way of contacting him outside of social media to the lawyer (no phone number, address, etc) and the lawyer said she doesn’t do social media communication and they posted an ad in the newspaper about the court date. That counted as being “served” and they proceeded with termination after he didn’t come forward for two weeks after the publication. Each state varies, but you may find it as simple as that with a lawyers help. Good luck.

I would look up the custody laws in each state and decide. The plus to filing in your new state would be that he would have to come all the way there for court and might not show up. The negative is there might be a certain amount of time you have to wait to establish residency (usually 6-12 months). Either way, I would consult with a lawyer for the best outcome 🫶🏽

He's been absent for 10 years I don't see any reason why the judge would sure with him I was able to get my baby a passport without her father signing but incase i think it was different there was domestic abuse going on and I added a letter explaining it on the application, it might best to get a lawyer

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