Can a father sign over his parental rights to avoid paying child support? 17 Answers as of May 21, 2013

I am currently pregnant and the baby’s father wants nothing to do with the pregnancy. He is threatening to sign over his parental rights so he does not have to take place in the baby’s life in the future. Can he do that? He is constantly bullying me into getting an abortion that I do not want.

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Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
No he cannot. A court has to determine to accept a voluntary relinquishment of rights. That does not automatically release a parent of support.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 12/17/2012
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
He cannot relinquish his rights unless you marry another man, and he adopts your child. After the child is born, file for paternity and child support in juvenile court, and he will have to pay.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 12/17/2012
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
This is one of those situations in which my personal point of view changes based on whom I represent. So keep that in mind. The Legal stance however is founded in law and does not change. The law says that he can ask the judge to let him relinquish his rights but the Judge must do what is best for the child. Very often guys think that they can simply decide to give up their rights but the fact is the man is only half of the relationship he is trying to terminate, the child is the other half. Looking at this from another point of view - common question I get is a woman who wants to terminate a man's rights to her child so he cannot ever have a relationship "with my baby". Fine, I see the point, though I have to point out that she can want it but it is not her relationship and believe it or not, a mother has no right to ask for the termination of the father's relationship unless and until she can show with credible evidence one of the very specific grounds set out in the family code has been met. You can divorce a spouse because you want to but termination of parental rights is never granted because someone wants it. Want is not a basis for termination. Only if the termination is in the best interest of the child can it be done. My personal and political view is not so cut and dried but you did not ask what I think in that regard. You may choose, or not, to fill in a few blanks from this next statement - abortion is a choice of the mother. The law protects the mother's choice, the father has no say. The law takes the position that if the man donated the sperm, he is the father and liable for that few minutes for the following 18 + years. A woman however, can unilaterally elect to keep or abort the result of that few minutes. You hold in your decision not only the life of your unborn child, you hold in your decision a relationship (good or bad) between a child and a father. The father holds in his decision only the choice of being a "father" or a "daddy".
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/14/2012
Law Offices of Julie A. Ringquist | Julie A. Ringquist
It sounds like you have a complicated situation and need the assistance of an attorney to make sure you and your child are protected. However, to answer the question about whether the father of your child can simply give up his parental rights and no longer have an obligation to help support his child, the answer is no. There are situations where it is possible, such as when you have remarried AND your child's step-father is willing to take over for the child as it's father (emotionally and financially) AND adopt the child as his own AND you have agreed to this plan. But a father cannot just sidestep his obligation to his child so easily as he believes.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/14/2012
The Law Office of Erin Farley
The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
A father's rights can be terminated, but not until after the child is born. I suggest you speak with a family law attorney immediately. It sounds like this guy is abusive, and the damage he could do to you and your child might outweigh any child support.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/14/2012
    Law Office of Eric S. Lumberg | Eric S. Lumberg
    Public policy is against this unless there is an adoption situation. You can get support for the child in this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 12/14/2012
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq.
    The Law Offices of John J. Carney Esq. | John J. Carney
    Many women do not want to get an abortion even if it is the right choice under the circumstances for the parties involved. They will benefit from counseling and getting a lot of different opinions and be better off listening to older and wiser people. The father cannot sign away his obligation to pay child support, but if he does not make a lot of money you might only get a small amount.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 12/14/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Only a court can terminate a parent's rights. A person cannot "sign away" their parental rights or responsibilities.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 12/14/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/21/2013
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    A parent cannot just sign over his rights to avoid child support. Even if he chooses not to pursue rights regarding parenting time or decision-making, he will still have the obligation to support his child and you can work with the state to get the support established.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 12/14/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    No, and No, and No again, he cannot sign off on his parental rights, I would suggest that you take control of your life, this is not rocket science I am sure you know who will be on dancing with the stars, or what ever it is called, next week, so just spend 1/100 of the same time on issues that are really important and educate yourself you will be amazed at what you can find out if you just take the time and effort to help yourself. File motions in the family court for, placement, custody, and support, it is not easy but then again it is not that hard if you just put in the effort. It is not only for you but for your child also, stop listing to him, he has the IQ of a house plant.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 12/14/2012
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    No.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/21/2013
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    He can threaten whatever he wants, but the only way he can "sign over his parental rights" is as a part of an adoption case. Unless you place the baby for adoption, you can (and should) initiate legal action to require him to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 12/13/2012
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    No he cannot just sign over his rights. Nor can he skirt his responsibilities.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/13/2012
    James Family Law Firm, P.C. | Amber Yerkey James
    No, he cannot walk away from his support obligation. Of course if you push the child support issue, he will likely seek custody and/or visitation just for spite.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 12/13/2012
    Richard D. Zasada, LLC | Richard D. Zasada
    No. It's against public policy. Courts will do it but only under the most extreme circumstances. If you file for child support he will be ordered to pay. Whether or not he chooses to see the child or petition the court for time sharing would be up to him.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/13/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Generally a judge will not allow someone to voluntarily terminate their parental rights in order to avoid paying child support.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 12/13/2012
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