How to Give Up Parental Rights and Not Pay Child Support
When you give up your parental rights, you are legally severing ties to your child. If you choose to do this, DoNotPay can help.
Giving up your parental rights is a grave and final decision. The courts rarely grant this unless it is to pave the way for a stepparent adoption. The courts would prefer to see both parents in a child's life, making this legal avenue very difficult to attain. Other than stepparent adoption, the giving up rights is usually reserved for cases where there has been abuse in the home or the child was the product of a sexual assault.
If you manage to give up your rights, any child support in arrears will still be due. The courts view this as a difference between parental rights and parental duties. Parental rights include the right to visitation, the right to consult with the other parent about your child's education, or the right to receive information about the child's healthcare. Parental duties include paying child support and contributing to the physical well-being of the child. In this case, terminating your parental rights will not release your parental duties.
If you cannot terminate your parental rights and cannot afford your current child support debt, you may want to consider petitioning the courts for a lower child support payment. DoNotPay can help you with that.
Do Child Support Arrears Ever Go Away?
You may be paying child support arrears well past your child's 18th birthday.
Child support arrears do not ever go away. They are the one debt that must be paid off in full. When the original support obligation ends, usually when the child turns 18 or 21, you will need to continue making payments if you still owe child support arrears. Not even a bankruptcy will help as they are considered non-dischargeable debt. The penalties for not paying can even include jail time in some states.
How to Avoid Child Support Payments Legally
In the court's view, child support is not a right. It is a duty.
Suppose you are considering taking this drastic step in the relationship with your child due to financial difficulties. In that case, some remedies may help you retain your parental rights and the relationship with your child. There are situations where child support is waived or lowered. For example, if you go back to school full time to further your career, the court will view your situation as one where you are working towards the future for you and your child. Your payments would at least be lowered, if not waived, while you complete your program.
If your child support arrears seem overwhelming, you can petition the court to waive the arrears. This is not successful very often, but if you can prove that your status has changed and that you have no way of paying the support amount charged to you, the courts might show compassion.
However, if you are in a situation where you have zero contact with your children, despite your best efforts, and your ex has remarried, the courts may rule in your favor if the new spouse has taken an interest in adopting your child.
There are a few other reasons that your child support may be canceled or at least reduced. They are:
- If you are incarcerated, you will not be required to pay child support.
- If you become disabled, your child support will at least be reduced.
- If your child chooses to become emancipated, that will terminate your parental rights, and you will be off the hook for child support.
The best that you can do is go to court and plead your case. Explain every side of the situation.
If you still feel strongly about terminating your parental rights, go ahead and petition the court, but it is best to attempt to get them to lower your payment first.
Next Steps for Lowering Your Child Support Payments if You Can’t Do It Yourself
If you have trouble petitioning the courts to lower the amount of child support, DoNotPay can help.
How to lower child support debt using DoNotPay:
- Search child support on DoNotPay and enter the details of the person who owes the payments.
- Tell us more about the payment schedule, including the amount and frequency of the payments, the last payment they made, several missed payments, and how much they owe you in total.
- Confirm your contact information and select whether you want us to mail or email the letter on your behalf. Choose how you would like to receive the payment and verify your signature.
Why Use DoNotPay to Help With Your Child Support Issue
When you use DoNotPay, you can find practical help by clicking on a button.
- Fast. Just a few short minutes, and you have the document you need to start the process.
- Easy. Not much is more accessible than point and click.
- Successful. Once you have submitted the final document, you can rest assured that you are starting the process the right way.
DoNotPay Offers Solutions Across All Areas
DoNotPay offers a variety of solutions to many of your problems across all areas.
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Each state has different rules and regulations regarding child support, making the entire process confusing and overwhelming. Luckily, DoNotPay has child support guides for each state. Find yours below:
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
DoNotPay can also help you with the following things and so much more:
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