Does relinguishing your parent rights release you from child support? 71 Answers as of May 30, 2013

My daughters father has not paid child support and now threatens to relinguish/teminate his parental rights. I believe this is because then he thinks he will not have to pay child support. Is that true..

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Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
It is unlikely that any court will allow a parent to relinquish his parental rights simply to avoid child support. It is highly unlikely that a court would allow this without a much better reason- such as an adoption by another person.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 6/22/2012
John Russo | John Russo
I don't know where you live, but I have never heard of any jurisdiction that would allow a parent to terminate their own parental rights, only the State can do that under the most extreme of circumstances. Under that circumstance he would not have to support, but for that to happen there would have to be some form of nasty abuse, so I would not worry about his threats he is blowing smoke. He can decide not to visit or bother with the children ever again, but unless you have someone adopt the children i.e. new husband then he is obligated to pay child support until your jurisdiction by statute tells him he is no longer obligated. Stop listening to him he is a bozo.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 6/18/2012
Evan Guthrie Law Firm
Evan Guthrie Law Firm | Evan Guthrie
In South Carolina that will not change the duty to pay child support.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 5/30/2013
Darrell B. Reynolds, P.C. | Darrell B. Reynolds
Unless agreed upon by both parties a non-custodial parent may not terminate there parental responsibility. Unless so ordered by the court the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/15/2012
Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
The father does not have the ability to terminate his parental rights whenever he wants to, no judge will sign off on that. His threat is meaningless.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/15/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Unless the relinquishing of his parental rights is in conjunction with an adoption or an action by the Department of Human Services ot terminate his parental rights he cannot voluntarily terminate his parental rights. When the Oklahoma Adoption Code was passed the private to terminate parental rights was eliminated.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    No, it does not.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Child support is an obligation and obligations and rights are like conjoined twins - virtually impossible to separate. In other words, if his parental rights are terminated, his parental obligations are also terminated. However, there is no short answer to your question. Keep in mind, he cannot simply "relinquish" his rights. He can have his rights terminated IF the Court finds it is in the best interest of the child. Relinquishment is used when the child is placed for adoption (similar result but slightly different in approach). What that means is a man cannot simply quit being a father. He may stop being a Daddy, but he cannot stop being a father of his own accord unless there is another man standing ready to adopt and take over those rights. He can ask the Court to administer DNA testing and if he finds out through that testing he is not the father, then he is not the father, it is different than termination or relinquishment, he was never the father to begin.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Attorney at Law | Steven E. Ferguson
    No, he is giving up his rights to have custody or visitation but his child support obligation will not be affected.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Varadi, Hair & Checki, LLC
    Varadi, Hair & Checki, LLC | Galen M. Hair
    While there are always exceptions to every rule, the short answer is "no" that is not true. He most likely will still be responsible for child support.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    A person cannot just "sign off" on their parental rights. If the child is being adopted or adopted by a step parent, the parental rights may be terminated of the biological parent. Please see a family law attorney for further information about this process.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Anderson & Boback | Janice L Boback
    You cannot relinquish/ terminate your parental rights just because you want to - termination of parental rights is a cause of action filed against a parent for certain statutory reasons - he cannot file to terminate his own rights.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/15/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The father cannot absolve himself of the responsibility to support his child by abandoning his child or relinquishing parental rights. In fact, the less he sees his child, the greater his child support obligation will be.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    First of all, he cannot "terminate" his own rights. He can give up his right to see the kids, but that is not the same as a termination or severance of his rights. If, for example, you were remarried and your husband wanted to adopt the children, their father could consent to the adoption, and the adoption would result in the termination of his rights. With that in mind, if his rights are terminated (or even if he just decides not to exercise any parenting time), he still owes child support until the kids are adopted.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    Not necessarily. Courts usually only terminate parental rights if there is a step parent willing to adopt the children. Your ex must continue to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    Your daughters' father can't relinquish his rights in that manner.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Law Offices of Dan Peelman | Dan Peelman
    If there is a court order entered which terminates your parental rights, then there is no child support obligation. However, there are certain very specific requirements for relinquishing parental rights. Just to avoid paying child support is not justification.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Law Offices of Pamela R. Lawson | Pamela R. Lawson, Esq.
    Actually if his parental rights are terminated, he will not be responsible for child support. Make an appointment with a family law attorney; my answer was general since there are no facts and circumstances stated in the question.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Law Offices of Jesus R Lopez
    Law Offices of Jesus R Lopez | Jesus Lopez
    If someone's parental rights are terminated, that terminates the obligation to pay current child support. It requires a termination however, not just signing a relinquishment.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/14/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    He will owe child support even if his rights are terminated.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    He can only relinquish his parental rights if there is someone who wants to adopt her.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    No. A relinquishment works ONLY if both parents are on board. Even then, the judge has the power to reject the relinquishment. His threat is completely meaningless.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A.
    Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
    No, it is not true. Public policy requires parents to provide financial support for children even if they have nothing to do with the children. There are ways to terminate parental rights, but not by a parent who just wants to do it to avoid paying child support.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    I have only seen a relinquishment of parental rights executed in connection with a legal action to terminate parental rights such as an adoption.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    The Court will not simply allow the father to terminate his parental rights without your consent. If you do not consent, you should seek legal counsel to assert your rights and require the father to pay child support and pay back any arrears payments that have accumulated if he has not paid support.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Stuart Jon Bierman  Attorney at Law
    Stuart Jon Bierman Attorney at Law | Stuart Jon Bierman
    No, definitely not-a person can relinquish or abandon his children but doing so will not enable him to avoid being responsible for paying child support. He will still have to continue paying child support.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    No, a relinquishment of parental rights does not relieve a parent from his or her duty to support a child. If the child was adopted by another father or mother, the biological parent's child support obligation would end (future support only).
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    Only if the termination goes through and it is near impossible to terminate rights without a trial or evidentiary or consent of both parties. Even if rights are terminated it will not terminate any arrears that accrue.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    He cannot terminate his parental rights. He owes whatever child support he did not pay.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    Not unless you adopt the child. He cannot just give up his rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    The father cannot simply "relinquish" his parental rights. Only the Chancery Court can terminate his parental rights, and the Courts generally will not do so if the custodial parent opposes it. If his parental rights are terminated, his child support obligation would terminate at that time, although he would still be liable for any past due child support amounts.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Border Law Firm
    Border Law Firm | Teresa Lynn Border
    Your daughter's father will be responsible for child support even if he relinquishes his parental rights. The only exception is if another person (ie your boyfriend or husband) adopts your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    If his parental rights are actually terminated (not just custody taken away) his obligation to pay child support will extinguish upon termination of his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    The Jordan Law Firm
    The Jordan Law Firm | John Paul Jordan
    No. He can attempt to relinquish his rights but he will still have the obligation for child support until your children are no longer eligible for child support. He can cancel his time spent with the kids, but he can't cancel the money he owes.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You need a valid termination of parental rights signed by a court. If you do have a termination of rights signed by a judge, then you will not owe future support but you will still owe what was owed at the time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    Fear not. In Wa. state a parent cannot walk away from supporting children of the marriage by relinquishing parental rights. It is a common misconception. The only way he can be relieved of his obligation to pay child support is if someone steps into his shoes and adopts the kids with your position or if the State determines he is a danger to the kids and terminates his rights in a dependency action he cannot do this himself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    Yes, for future support, but not for back support.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Unless someone else, such as in a step parent adoption situation is assuming the parental responsibilites, his relinquishment of his parental rights will not relieve him of child support obligations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    It only would release future payments not those that have already accrued, and he cannot relinquish his rights without an adoption by your daughter and her new husband (stepparent.) The natural father of a child is on the hook and cannot do anything himself to stop the child support.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    No (at least in Nevada) it is not true. A voluntary relinquishment has no effect on an obligation of child support.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Ryan Berman, Esq | Ryan Berman
    Relinquishing/terminating your parental rights doesn't release your obligation to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    A parent cannot unilaterally "relinquish" parental rights because that would terminate child support obligations. The law only allows relinquishment in connection with an adoption by someone else who will become financially responsible. You can safely ignore the father's threats because he doesn't know what his talking about.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    If his obligation as father is terminated, his obligation for paying support ceases. That does not mean any past due support is waived however.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    No, that is not true. One cannot just relinquish their parental rights in a child and thereby wipe out any obligation, especially a court ordered obligation like child support. That applies only when a child is adopted, that future child support is not due, but does not affect past due child support.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    No, not true. He is still liable for child support, even if he loses his legal (as well as physical) custodial rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    He can't do that unless child protective services has investigated a complaint of abuse and neglect and had the Court terminate his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Lombardi Law LLC
    Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
    In Alaska if your parental rights are terminated you no longer have to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Alaska
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    While it may be tempting for a parent (especially if s/he has a teenager) to relinquish parental rights, there is no mechanism for doing that. If a child is adopted, then parental rights are terminated by action of the Court. Otherwise, as far as the law is concern, you are the parent. You might want to check with the Department of Child Support Services recollecting child support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    No, even though your daughter's father relinquishes his parental rights, he is still obligated to pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
    A parent can't just relinquish his parental rights. Someone else has to assume the responsibility e.g. in an adoption. If rights are terminated so are all the obligations, including the obligation of child support. If the father hasn't paid support, a proper order will lead to garnishment of the support he owes. Past support owed does not automatically go away because rights are terminated.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First, if parental rights are terminated, then any ongoing child support obligation is extibguished. He would still owe any accrued back support unless waived. Second, a parent cannot easily terminate their parental rights. There must be some basis under statute and the court must find it is in the child's best interests. It certainly would be unlikely to occur without your consent.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You cannot simply give up your rights unless someone else is adopting the child. Thus, you cannot obtain a termination of parental rights to avoid a support obligation and, further, any prior order does not go away if a child is adopted. The paying party remains responsible for the past due balance, although ongoing support terminates.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Weinpel Law Office, P.C. | Marc Weinpel
    The father of your children cannot terminate his parental rights unilaterally. If you wish him to terminate and allow someone else to adopt her children that can be done but as long as he is under a child support obligation, a court will not allow him to relinquish his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    Termination of parental rights, whether voluntary or involuntary does not terminate that parent's obligation to support his/her child(ren). If the child(ren) were subsequently adopted, for example by a step parent, then the support obligation would cease to exist, because the step parent has now agreed to be liable for the support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    In Rhode Island he would not be allowed to give up his "rights". Even if he does not want them, he still must pay child support. Best wishes to you.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally not true. His support obligation should continue as long as they are minors or are adopted by another.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    No. He cannot do that. He still owes the support. Contact the Missouri Family Support Division to open a case and have them collect it for you.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    A parent cannot voluntarily relinquish their parental responsibilities. A person could choose to not exercise their parenting time or visitation, which would have the effect of relinquishing their right to be involved in the child's life, but that will not terminate the obligation to pay child support. There is an exception to this. If you were to be remarried and your new husband desired to adopt your child from before the marriage, then your ex could consent to the step-parent adoption. Upon finalizing the adoption, your ex's parental rights would be "terminated", and he would no longer owe child support.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc
    Law Office of Lynda H. LeBlanc | Lynda Leblanc
    He cannot voluntarily relinquish his parental rights unless the Dept. of Child Services is involved, there is an open CHINS case and DCS has moved for termination of parental rights. If his parental rights are terminated, then yes, that would stop his duty to pay support. The court will not allow a person to terminate their rights just to avoid paying support. You may want to check with an attorney to see if your child support would go up if he is not exercising parenting time with your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Bruce Plesser | Bruce Plesser
    Not necessarily unless minor is adopted.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    No, it is not true. You should take action to collect the past due child support for the benefit of your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    It can but does not necessarily. You need to make sure that the paper work for relinquishment of parental rights eliminates child support obligations.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Office of Angela M. Riccio | Angela M. Riccio
    Your question is somewhat vague as to any pending matters, parentage determination of your daughter and other matters to provide the best information to you. Generally, both parents are legally bound to provide for the support of their biological children. In the event, through court proceedings, a parents rights are terminated by order of court, then the support obligation is also terminated. It would be a very extraordinary situation for a court to enter such an order in the circumstances you describe.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Theodora Fader | Theodora Fader
    Dad will not be permitted to relinquish his parental rights in order to avoid his obligation to support his child.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,.
    Abom & Kutulakis, L.L.P,. | Jason P. Kutulakis
    He can't terminate unless someone is committed to adopting.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston
    Law Offices of Maxwell Charles Livingston | Maxwell C Livingston
    A court might release support obligations if he terminates his rights, but it's not guaranteed. The court will ultimately only make such adjustment if it's in the best interests of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Who is he relinquishing his rights to? If someone adopts the child, they can assume his rights. Otherwise, the responsibilities of providing for his children are not something he can give up. The State can take away his rights but you haven't indicated that's happening.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Puget Sound Professional Legal Services | Jonathan Milstein
    One cannot relinquish their parental rights in the State of Washington. Parental rights can only be terminated or released through a court action (CPS-DSHS) or if a child is adopted by a step parent. In this case, child support will continue to accrue until one of the above scenarios happens.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    He can't simply terminate or relinquish his parental rights absent some court process (e.g., to allow an adoption to go through).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2012
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