If both parents agree, can a father sign away his parental rights? 24 Answers as of May 24, 2013

My ex has primary custody of my 2 sons. I have since married another woman and have a daughter now. My sons are mean to my new wife and daughter. I cannot get them to listen and behave, their mother has talked badly about me and my wife to them, they do not respect me or my new family. I have been layed off from work and have little income and my ex keeps threatening me with legal action. Its all I can do to keep a roof over my new family's head let alone pay my ex child support. Would this help the situation?

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You can only voluntarily relinquish your parental rights and responsibilities in connection with an adoption by another person. Until that occurs, your financial obligation will not terminate no matter what you say.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/7/2012
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
Yes. Dad can terminate his parental rights. The Judge will consider whether the children will continue to receive proper support if your parental rights are terminated. If the Court believes that the children will not receive proper financial support from the mother, the Court can deny your parental rights. thus, if the mother has a husband that would help with the termination of your parental rights.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/27/2012
The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
No. In Wa. state, there is no basis in the law for a parent to terminate his own parental rights unless there is a pending Adoption Petition where another man agrees to marry you ex and adopt the child, taking on all of the financial responsibilities.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/21/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
The only way to get out of support is step parent adoption by your ex and a new spouse. You may be able to get support reduced since you are no longer working.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/21/2012
Lombardi Law LLC
Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
In Alaska a parent cannot relinquish their parental rights in order to avoid child support. It may be advisable to work with an attorney to get your child support reduced if you are no longer working.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 8/21/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    Under Michigan law even you sign away your parental right, you must pay child support.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Yes. It is through a stipulation and order. File a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights and he doesn't do anything.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    No. Any termination of Parental Rights must be brought before a court and signed as an Order if the Judge believes that the requested termination is in the child's best interests. that would require a careful review of the facts and evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    No, thats not happening, unless someone also files a petition to adopt at the same time you wish to give up your rights, i.e. your wife has remarried and her new husband wants to adopt. As a side bar that would not be all that bad of an idea since you don't seem to care much for your own children, you blame them but somehow I believe that you are the one at fault here, as this seems to be more about money to you then your own blood.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
    The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
    You can only relinquish your rights, and responsibilities, if your ex is remarried and her husband wishes to adopt them. If you have not already done so, you should file a motion to modify your child support based on your job loss.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    This requires a suit affecting parent child relationship, and the court must find that termination is in the best interest of the children.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    First of all, if you were laid off from work, you should immediately file a Request for Order seeking a modification of your Child Support obligation. You can't get a modification retroactive to a date prior to your filing and serving that RFO. Second of all, you can't "give up" your parental rights, or enter into an enforceable agreement to do so, but you could choose not to visit with your children. A consequence of not visiting with your children is that Child Support will be higher than it would be if you were visiting - Child Support is based on your income, the mother's income, and your percentage of custodial timeshare.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    You probably cannot do it, but it is a bad idea anyhow. It would also have a bad effect on your daughter when she got old enough to know that a parent can get rid of his children. Use the court to help you get a better situation with the children. They often act out . especially when they feel they are being replaced. Counselling is needed here. Your ex-wife will need to know that she is NOT supposed to badmouth you. Good luck and do the right thing, even if it is hard at the present. I have been an attorney over 30 years, so I know the consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    That is not a reason to abandon your responsibility to your children in this state. Adoption would be a valid reason to sign away your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
    Yes, but it is not simply an agreement between the parents. Society at large has an interest is not taking parents away from children. You should consider this very carefully. Once signed and approved, there is no going back. You don't say how old your sons are, but it does seem that they are old enough to talk and have opinions. Trust me that if they did not still love you they would not bother with their opinions. Every child of divorce fantasizes about his parents' reunion, even those who have been through abuse. Attacking your wife and their sister may be their (very inappropriate) way for vocalizing this fantasy. It doesn't make their, or your former wife's, behavior OK, but it may help explain it to you. Start referring to the daughter as "[her name], your sister" and your wife as "[her name], your step-mom". Tell them out loud and with vigor that name calling is never acceptable, especially within the family and that by insulting their sister, they are insulting both you and themselves and hurting your feelings. You can punish inappropriate behavior on their part, always within reasonable limits of acceptable forms of punishment, but you did not divorce them and they are not free to disrespect a parent or a sibling and you and your daughter are still their family, as is your wife a new member of their family, just as their mom's husband will be if she chooses to get married. Don't abandon your kids.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    No, you need a court order to sign away rights. An agreement between parents is not enough. It has to be approved by the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    No not unless there is a step parent willing to adopt them.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    Terminating your parental rights does not terminate your support obligation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    While you can voluntarily sign away your rights, Alabama will not release you from your responsibility to pay child support. So signing away your rights will not do what you want it to do. Even though you are entitled to visitation, you do not have to exercise it. If your sons are disrupting your family and you cannot control them, you do not have to have them in your home. However, that still will not release you from your responsibility to pay child support. You can file a motion asking the court to reduce the amount you owe because you are unemployed. The law assumes that any able-bodied person can find a minimum wage job, so the judge may reduce your child support to the minimum required of everyone. If you and your ex-wife can reach an agreement whereby you no longer exercise your visitation rights and she no longer requests child support, you can make that agreement. Be sure you put it in writing and both of you sign before a Notary Public. However, if a court does not approve it, do not be surprised if she comes back later and says she has changed her mind and wants you to pay all the back child support you owe. Ex-spouses are not always dependable in matters like this.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Absent an adoption or termination case by DHS a father cannot sign over his parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/21/2012
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