Can I Voluntarily Terminate My Parental Rights So I Don’t Have to Pay Child Support?
I recently met with a father who came to me because he has not been able to see his children for the last two years. The children’s mother keeps evading and moving from state to state making it difficult for him to locate them. He expressed that he is tired of the games and he wants to stop paying child support in hopes that it will get his ex’s attention and she will ultimately allow him to see the children. If not, he wants to simply waive his financial obligation for the children and cut off all involvement with his ex and the children altogether.
When I come across situations like these, I always begin by explaining that voluntarily relinquishing your parental rights is just simply not commonly allowed by the court. You cannot sporadically terminate your parental rights simply because you want to avoid paying child support, or for any other reason for that matter. A child has the right to the benefits of both parents, therefore, the judge will not simply grant one parent to “opt out” without reason.
The only case in which a judge would grant a voluntary termination of one’s own parental rights, is in the case of adoption. If a step-parent wants to legally adopt their spouse’s children, and therefore replace the biological parent’s legal and financial responsibility, then that biological parent does have the option to agree to the adoption and relinquish all their parental rights. Upon completing the adoption, the biological parent will no longer have a child-parent relationship and will have no financial obligations to the child.
The process of adoption is the only way a parent can voluntarily give up their own parental rights. So, remember, until a court orders otherwise, you must continue to pay child support. You must continue to take care of your child. The state demands it, the court demands it. If you have questions regarding this topic or any other Family Law topic, do not hesitate to contact our office to schedule a consultation with our experienced Family Law attorney. Our office can be reached at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.