Can You Stop Child Support by Signing Away Your Parental Rights?
August 5, 2020
Child Support, Legal Blog
When you have a child, you have a right to be part of your child’s life. But as a mother or father, you also have certain obligations. This means a lot of things for different families, but it generally means providing financial support.
North Carolina recognizes there are times when people are not capable of being stable parents. In these situations, your parental rights may be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by the court. For example, if you sign away your parental rights, you no longer have any rights to your child. It also includes removing child support obligations.
If you have questions about terminating parental rights in North Carolina, do not hesitate to contact an experienced child custody and support attorney at Breeden Law Office.
With over 20 years experience and local offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, attorney Jonathan Breeden has helped countless individuals successfully resolve child support and parental rights issues.
Call (919) 205-5254 today or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Terminating Parental Rights In NC
For your parental rights to be terminated, there must be clear and convincing evidence to do so, and that termination is in your child’s best interests.
Grounds for termination of parental rights include:
Child abuse or neglect by the parent
Willful abandonment of the child
Failure to pay child support for more than one year
Placement of the child in the custody of social services for at least six months, during which time the parent willfully fails to pay child support
The parent’s inability to care for a child due to incapacity
Failure for a father to provide for or acknowledge a child born outside of a marriage
A parent’s danger to a child by committing certain felonies, including sex offenses and homicide
The parent relinquished a child to social services for adoption
The court must also review whether termination of your parental rights is in the child’s best interests. For instance, if the termination is to enable another adult to adopt the child, then the court often finds it is in the child’s best interests. But, if you are found to be a physical danger or harmful to the child’s well-being, the court is more likely to terminate your rights.
Signing Away Parental Rights Requires Judicial Consent
For parental rights to be terminated, a judge must approve. This is not something you or another parent can do without involving the courts.
You may file a petition asking the judge to terminate your child’s other parent’s rights. The other parent can file a petition to ask for your rights to be terminated. Social services, a licensed child placement agency, your child’s guardian, a guardian ad litem, or a potential adoptive parent can file a petition to terminate your parental rights. However, you cannot file a petition for the court to terminate your own rights.
Also, termination is not something you can do to avoid your responsibilities. You may not voluntarily terminate your parental rights for any reason, particularly to avoid paying child support.
Termination of Parental Rights Ends Child Support Obligation
In North Carolina, terminating parental rights completely end all legal relationships between a parent and child. As a parent, you will no longer be able to contact your child. You cannot call, email, or visit. You do not get to see your child on their birthday or holidays.
Termination also ends your legal responsibilities to take care of your child. Any child support obligation is lifted, and it is as if you and the child are strangers.
Do You Have Questions About Terminating Parental Rights?
At Breeden Law Office, we understand there are times when it’s necessary to severe a relationship between a parent and child. We can explain all your options, including a possible child support modification and when it’s best to terminate parental rights.
To schedule an initial evaluation, contact us today at (919) 661-4970.
Can A Father Sign His Rights Over In Texas?
You might wonder why a parent would ever want to terminate rights to their child, but this is a question that gets asked frequently. In Texas, a parent can remove or voluntarily relinquish their rights. However, there are a few requirements that a parent must meet before a court grants them this relinquishment.
GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION
To begin with, there are some statutory reasons that a parent would wish to relinquish their parental rights. First, if a parent has voluntarily left their child alone or with their other parent and expressed their intent not to return to their child, or if a parent has failed to provide adequate support for the child, these may be grounds for a relinquishment.
Voluntary Termination While Pregnant
Next, you may voluntarily terminate parental rights during pregnancy if you are an unmarried pregnant woman. The unmarried mother will end the parent-child relationship in this option when the mother intends to give her child up for adoption soon after birth. This option becomes available after the mother's first trimester of pregnancy, in which she will have to petition the court to terminate her rights. The court will hold a hearing typically at least five days after the birth to give a mother time to make a rational decision. Should the mother change her mind, she will need to file an affidavit 48 hours or more after the child is born. This affidavit is revocable for ten days, giving the mother even more time to reconsider her decision not to go through with the adoption.
Father's Rights in an Involuntary Termination
A father and his rights will also be considered when a mother plans to go in this direction. If a father has doubts about the child's paternity, he may wish not to become involved in any further proceedings regarding the child. He will have the option of signing an Affidavit of Waiver of Interest, and this affidavit is irrevocable.
Furthermore, if you are a father unsure about the child's paternity, a father still retains the same rights to the child. He can challenge the adoption himself because he has the right to protection where his relationship with his child is being terminated involuntarily. To do so, he will need to file with the State of Texas paternity registry. This registry will allow a man to assume responsibility for a child they might have fathered out of wedlock. If you want to protect your rights, it is essential to know that a failure to register with the Texas paternity register will terminate your parental rights.
DIFFICULTY OF TERMINATION
Now that you understand why a parent might want to terminate their rights, it is crucial to understand the difficulty of removing parental rights in Texas. This is because the effective termination of parental rights will have on you and your relationship with your child. An ending is precisely what it sounds like; a parent will lose all rights and duties to their child, including possession and access and child support requirements. This means you will lose your right even to see your child anymore. Your child will have to have a new birth certificate reissued with the relinquishing parent's name removed. Termination of parental rights can be equated to the "death penalty."
It is also essential that most courts would not want to leave a child with just one parent, which is why Judges are reluctant to allow a termination of rights unless there is another parent ready to be an adoptive parent.
The burden of Proof is Required.
In most civil cases, the Burden of Proof is by a "preponderance of the evidence." A load of evidence is an obligation to prove what you are claiming. If you wish to terminate your parental rights involuntarily, you will have to prove your grounds or reasons for termination by clear and convincing evidence. This standard is more difficult to prove than by a "preponderance of the evidence," which is why it will be harder for a parent to establish they deserve a termination of their parental rights.
Best Interest of the Child
Not only will a parent be required to prove their case by a higher standard of clear and convincing evidence, but a parent's constitutional rights will be weighed against what is in the best interest of the child. The court will place a greater weight on what is in the child's best interest when deciding about relinquishment of rights.
A court will use factors when determining just what exactly is in the best interest of the child. These "Holley Factors" include –
Your child's desires;
Their present/future emotional and physical needs;
Present/future emotional and physical danger to a child;
Parenting abilities of the parent seeking custody;
Available programs to help promote the best interest of the child;
A parent seeking custody's plans for the child
Stability of the home where the child will live
Acts or omissions that may prove the existing parent-child relationship is not proper; and
Excuses for those acts/omissions
COURT PROCEEDINGS, RISKS, AND CONSIDERATIONS
Before considering terminating your parental rights, it is essential to know about the financial risks you will be taking. Concluding parental rights can only be done through the Texas courts, and for that purpose, you must file a lawsuit and prove the set-out requirements in the Texas Family Code Chapter 161.
Any lawsuit can tend to get expensive, and you are not always guaranteed the outcome you desire. Therefore, you may incur thousands of dollars in attorney's fees and run the risk of not winning your case. However, if your rights are relinquished, child support obligations will be terminated too, and possibly the child's right to inherit from the relinquished parent under inheritance laws.
Another thing to consider in a relinquishment case is that the court typically appoints an attorney to represent the child. This is known as attorney ad litem, and their role includes fact-gathering, interviewing parties/witnesses, making hearing appearances, and offering recommendations to the Judge. If there is an absent or unknown parent, the court may appoint an attorney to represent them. If ad litem is set, it is essential to know you may be responsible for paying for that attorney and for helping locate the unknown parent.
If you consider terminating your parental rights, understanding the legal and financial consequences is just as crucial as the termination itself. Although your rights may have been removed, whether voluntary or involuntary, there are still ways a parent can have their rights reinstated. However, reinstated is only allowed in rare, exceptional circumstances, and for the most part, termination is likely permanent. That is why being educated on the matter is imperative to not only your but your child's future as well.
Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have informed and knowledgeable attorneys ready to offer you advice and information about the next steps when you begin to think you want to relinquish your rights.
Large family allowance - frequently asked questions
1. Which families will receive the large family allowance?
One of the parents, guardian or caregiver who brings up three or more children in the family who meets the conditions for receiving child allowance has the right to receive the allowance for a large family. Children under the age of 16 are entitled to receive child allowance, and in the case of a child studying - until he reaches 19years. If the child turns 19 in the current school year, the child allowance is paid until the end of the school year.
2. Is the allowance for a large family paid monthly or only once?
The allowance for a large family is paid monthly.
3. If our family already has three children, will our family receive this benefit?
Yes, one of the parents, guardian or caregiver who is raising three or more children in the family receiving child allowance as of 01.07.2017 is entitled to receive the allowance for a large family.
4. Is this benefit exclusively for families who are just expecting a third child?
No, one of the parents, a guardian or trustee who is already raising three or more children in the family receiving child allowance as of 07/01/2017 has the right to receive benefits for a large family. Is the allowance for a large family paid automatically, or will it be necessary to apply?
If, before 01.07.2017, three or more children are brought up in a family, for which one person receives child allowance, an application does not need to be submitted.
If the third child is born in the family after 01.07.2017, in this case it is required to submit an application for family benefit for the newborn and at the same time indicate the desire to receive the allowance for a large family.
The application can be submitted on the self-service portal of the Social Insurance Board. Application for parental benefit, family benefits and supplementary contributions to the mandatory funded pension.
6. To whose settlement account and on what date is the money transferred?
The money is paid automatically on the 8th day of each month to the person to whose current account child allowances have been transferred so far.
If you wish to change the beneficiary of benefits, another person submits an application for granting benefits. The person who has received benefits so far gives his or her consent to withdraw from receiving benefits.
7. Are beneficiaries of parental benefit also entitled to family allowance?
Yes, receiving parental benefit does not limit the right to receive benefits for a large family.
8. If my spouse and I have 2 children from a joint marriage, and at the same time the spouse has one child from a previous marriage, are we entitled to receive benefits for a large family?
The purpose of family allowances is to partially cover the costs associated with raising a child, so the allowance is paid to the parent who takes care of the child on a daily basis. Thus, it is important here that these parents bring up all three children on a daily basis. If there is a situation in which the same parent receives child allowance for a child from a previous marriage and for two children born in a new marriage, that parent will automatically receive the allowance for a large family.
It is important that the child allowances for all three children are issued to the same person.
9. Mother and father have 2 children in common. In addition, the mother / father has a child from a previous life together, who lives half the time in one family and half in another, while his hobby groups / clothes, etc. paid equally by parents. At the same time, the mother's/father's previous life partner(s) has two more children. What will happen in such a situation?
When determining family allowances, all children brought up in a family who are eligible for child allowance are taken into account. The family does not include children who live separately from this particular family with the other parent.
An exception is the situation in which, when the parents separate, the child lives equally in two families. In this case, the parents agree on which family the child is included in.
The Social Insurance Board does not have the authority to decide which family a child should be included in.
One of the parents who brings up three or more children in the family who meets the conditions for receiving child allowance has the right to receive the allowance for a large family. Children under the age of 16 are entitled to receive child allowance, and in the case of a child studying, up to the age of 19. If the child turns 19 in the current school year, the child allowance is paid until the end of the school year.
10. Is it possible to share between parents the receipt of child allowance and allowance for a large family?
No, the recipient of the child allowance and the family allowance must be the same person. The payment of child allowances and allowances for a large family is made to one current account chosen by the person.
11. Is it possible for one parent to receive child benefits for three or more children, and the other parent to receive benefits for a large family?
No, a parent, guardian or custodian, or other person who is eligible for child benefits for three or more children is eligible to receive Large Family Allowance.
12. If the third child is born, for example, on July 15, 2017, from what time does the right to receive benefits for a large family arise?
The right to receive benefits for a large family will arise from the moment of the birth of the third child, i.e. from 15.07.2017
13. Will the large family allowance affect the subsistence allowance paid by the social welfare department of the place of residence?
Yes, it will. The allowance for a large family is included in the family income when calculating the subsistence allowance. Therefore, in the future, this family may not qualify as a recipient of a subsistence allowance, or the amount of the assigned subsistence allowance may decrease.
14. If my spouse and I have 3 children, while the spouse has 2 children from a previous life together, and I have 1 child. We do not have common children. All three children live with us, which means daily expenses on our part.
Are we eligible for family allowance?
If the parents are legally married, then one of the spouses will be entitled to receive the large family allowance, despite the fact that there are no common children in the family.
15. If there are three children in a family and one of them, sixteen years old, has graduated from basic school and is going to study at a gymnasium in the fall, will the payment of benefits for a large family begin in July or in the fall? If the child is studying at a gymnasium, is there information about this or is special confirmation required?
In this case, the payment of the allowance for a large family will begin in July. Children under the age of 16 are entitled to receive child allowance, and in the case of a child studying, up to the age of 19. If the child turns 19 in the current academic year, the child allowance is paid until the end of the academic year. The beginning of the academic year is considered September 1st, and the end is August 31st, in case of graduation from the gymnasium - June 30th.
If your child is studying in Estonia, you do not need to submit a study certificate. We obtain information about studies from the Estonian Education Information System (EHIS). If the child is studying abroad, a certificate of study must be submitted annually to the Social Insurance Board.
16. My husband works in Finland and receives child benefits there for our children. I am a housewife, I live with children in Estonia. When will the allowance for a large family begin to be paid, how will our family allowances be paid in the future?
If the total amount of family benefits in Finland is less than the total family benefits in Estonia, Estonia will have to pay an additional benefit equal to the difference between the family benefits in Estonia and Finland. The allowance for a large family is distributed equally among the children.
Example 1: There are three children in the family: 15 years old, 12 years old and 9 years old. The compensation paid by Estonia is formed as follows:
15-year-old child (50+100) – 133.79 = 16.21€
12-year-old child (50+100) – 104.84 = 45.16€
9 -year-old child (100+100) – 94.88 = 105.12€
The total benefit paid by Estonia is: 166.49€
Example 2: There are four children in the family: 12 years old, 10 years old, 6 years old and 2 years. The compensation paid by Estonia is formed as follows:
12 year old child (50+75) – 153.24 = €0
10 year old child (50+75) – 133.79 = €0
6 year old child (100+19.18+75 ) – 104.84 = 88.34€
How to register a child if the parents are not registered or the father has another family?
"The birth of a child is not a reason to put a stamp in the passport", - this is how many modern couples think, and even after learning about a woman's pregnancy, they are in no hurry to officially register their relationship. According to Rosstat, the number of registered marriages is declining from year to year, while the birth rate is increasing, which means that more and more children in Russia are born out of wedlock. Previously, such children were called illegitimate, but now they have equal rights with children born in a registered family. True, in order to register a child whose parents are not registered, you need to understand some legal aspects, which we will discuss in this article.
Maternity is always established by the fact of birth and is confirmed by a relevant medical document, but the situation with establishing paternity is more complicated. If the parents of the child are in an officially registered marriage, then at the request of any of them (the signature of one spouse is enough), the child is recorded in the birth book.
If the parents are not officially married or the child's father has another family, the record of the child's father is made on the joint application of the father and mother of the child, or on the application of the child's father. In case of disagreement or refusal to recognize the child, the father is recorded according to the court decision after paternity is established.
It is important to note that even if the marriage has already been officially dissolved and the child was born within three hundred days of the dissolution of the marriage, the mother's spouse (now ex) is recognized as the child's father, unless otherwise is proven. What surname the child will have, the parents decide jointly, and in case of disagreement on this issue, the decision will be made by the guardianship and guardianship authority.
The court will also have to prove paternity if the child's father died before the child was born and the marriage was not registered. In this case, the court will take into account testimonies, the existence of a joint household and jointly acquired property, and other details indicating that the child's parents lived together. When paternity is established, the child will have equal rights with other children of the deceased, including claiming a share of the inheritance.
Subtleties of registration
An application for the birth of a child must be made to the registry office no later than one month from the date of birth of the child, and there is no specific deadline for submitting an application for establishing paternity, since such an application can be submitted as with state registration of the birth of a child , and after. If the father of the child does not agree to recognize paternity (as discussed above) or if the mother does not agree to his registration as the father of her child, then paternity can be established in court at the request of both the father and the mother. The legislator provided for the possibility of submitting a preliminary application for the establishment of paternity even during the pregnancy of the mother of the child, in the presence of circumstances giving reason to believe that filing a joint application for the establishment of paternity may be impossible or difficult after the birth of the child.
Is it necessary to document paternity at all?
If the child's father does not want to acknowledge paternity, then before going to court, a woman should ask herself, does she really want to formalize this paternity? The fact is that in the future she may have problems, for example, with the export of a child abroad: every time she will have to apply to her father for a written permission to export a minor outside the Russian Federation.
At the same time, if a man avoids communicating with a child, the court will be able to oblige him to pay alimony, but he will not be able to force him to communicate with the baby and participate in his upbringing.
How to register a child born without a father?
Unfortunately, there are situations in life when a woman does not know who the father of her child is, or the child was born from a casual relationship. The procedure for its registration is completely identical, with the only difference being that, at the request of the mother of the child, a dash is put in the column “Father”, which does not affect his rights in any way.
Chapter 11 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation lists and discloses in detail all the fundamental rights of the child, including:
The right to live and be brought up in a family, including the right to know one's parents, the right to be cared for by them, the right to live with them and ensure their interests, all-round development, respect for one's human dignity;
The right of the child to communicate with both parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives;
The child's right to protection, both from his parents and from guardianship and guardianship authorities;
The right of the child to express his opinion in resolving any issue in the family that affects his interests;
The child's right to a given name, patronymic and surname. The name of the child is given by agreement of the parents, the patronymic is assigned by the name of the father. The surname of the child is determined by the surname of the parents.