Divorces get really messy, especially if there is a child tied in between the quarrel. When couples realize they’re not compatible, they file for divorce, and it’s easier if they don’t have children, but if they do, the custodial matters can go to court and eventually get super complicated.
As a parent, you have the legal right to be involved in your child’s life, even if you don’t win child custody. Usually the mother gets legal custody of the child unless deemed unfit to take care of the child, and the father usually pays for child support along with having visitation hours as fixed by the court.
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Child Custody and Parental Rights
There is always a custody war between couples when they’re filing for divorce, and when the matter goes to court, the judge decides the custody based on several factors that would benefit the child.
- Emotional and psychological health of the child as per new circumstances
- Whether each parent will promote a parent-child relationship with the other parent
- Whether the parents can communicate effectively
- How much each parent contributed to the child’s upbringing
- How geographically close or far the parents are to each other
- Any other criteria that is significant to the decision
However, parents also have the right to give up their parental rights if they believe they’re not financially, mentally or physically stable to take care of themselves and the child.
Mother Giving up Parental Rights
Being a mother, or being a parent isn’t an easy job. You have a whole human to take care of which means giving them education, healthcare and your unconditional love without expecting anything else in return.
Giving up full custody of the child means that the mother can no longer play an active part in the decision making of the child’s life, and everything will then be done by the father.
There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is where the child lives physically, with their guardian, and legal custody gives certain decision making rights about the child. Even if a mother gives up full custody of her child, she can still obtain visitation rights and certain privileges.
If a mother voluntarily gives up parental rights or loses custody of the child, she is still required to contribute financially to the child, known as child support. Depending on how much she earns and what amount the court has fixed for the case, she is still required to pay for child support.
Can a Father Terminate his Parental Rights?
While undergoing divorce, a father may choose to terminate his parental rights if he wishes to not pay child support and eventually not have anything to do with the upbringing of the child.
There are two major reasons why a father may choose to willingly terminate his parental rights: the child is being sent for adoption, or the father can’t afford to keep the child. That way they can terminate the rights and not pay child support.
Sign Over Parental Rights Forms
If a parent wishes to sign over their parental rights, they can simply do so by searching for the forms online, or click here for a fillable version of the form.
Termination of parental rights form can be obtained from this link, click here.
The form asks for all important personal questions that the parent is required to answer, and then they are required to sign it at the end. You can submit it online and wait for a notification regarding this then.
How to give up Parental Rights and not pay Child Support?
When married couples split, it is obvious that the legal parents of the child are the mother and father, which means they have certain obligations to the child. However, they have the option to give up parental rights if they wish to not pay child support.
The process for legally ending your rights depends on who will be caring for the child. If the child will remain in the care of one parent, you can sign a domestic contract giving the child’s custodial parent sole custody. This will allow that parent to be solely responsible for health, travel, educational and other care decisions for the child without requiring your consent.
If the child will be living with someone other than a parent, such as a grandparent or aunt/ uncle, you should ask a lawyer to draft a guardianship agreement that outlines all of the rights they have in relation to the child. The guardianship agreement should be signed by both parents and the child’s caregivers after they have all received independent legal advice. If you do not sign an agreement, the person who the child is living with may request an order from the court granting them sole custody. This approach is usually more time consuming and stressful on everyone involved.
When you have a child, you are morally required to take care of them and assist them with their physical, emotional and financial needs. However, in some cases that you have a child and you realize the relationship with your spouse is unstable or that you have very less income, the law requires you to give up your parental rights.
A mother can give up custody of a father could give up his parental rights to avoid paying child support, and that too legally. But that will strip them of their rights with the child including daily involvement, decisions regarding education and healthcare and maybe even visitation hours.
Even though a right given to you by law, often couples make decisions that are harmful for the child in the long run, so make sure if you’re giving up custody or giving up your parental rights, you have thought through the whole process and there is no room to regret your decision later on.