How an uninformed divorced man almost lost his daughter

Question

After signing over parental rights can a visitation order still be instated? I am divorced from my ex-wife and she has since re-married and has had 3 additional kids to this man. I currently have visitation rights to my daughter and see her every weekend and on school events. My ex-wife is asking me to sign over my rights so that my daughter has the same surname as her brother and sister’s. She is using the ploy that she will stop all support and the back I owe. I have no problem paying the support so the ploy is not a big winner for me. She says an attorney told her that I could sign over my rights, but still have visitation. She claims the visitation can be a court order as it currently is. I believe this is very incorrect and yet another ploy. I love my daughter greatly and do not want to loose my time with her. Can you please tell me if my belief is correct.

Answer

Do not sign over your rights. I would not agree to give up constitutional rights you have to parent your daughter. These are rights you can enforce in court. If you give up your rights voluntarily, you will lose the court’s power to enforce your right to see your daughter. Having the same surname of the half siblings seems like a very technical point, mostly to benefit your ex-wife. I highly doubt your daughter is negatively affected by having a different last name. Anything that keeps her close to her father is most likely to be in her best interest. Your daughter should be able to make the decision of her name when she is an adult. She may want to keep your name. Always consult with an attorney before agreeing to give up some of your rights.

Cameron JohnsonHow an uninformed divorced man almost lost his daughter