This is the next post in my series on the voluntary termination of parental rights in Melbourne and other Florida areas. My last article discussed the process for voluntary rights termination. It is important for both parents to understand that the process is typically irreversible as well as how such a decision can impact child support and other issues. This article will be expanding upon that discussion by more fully explaining the legal effect of a termination. If you are considering giving up your parentage, or you wish to gain sole custody of your child, then contact my office today to speak with a family law lawyer. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of service and we look forward to speaking with you.
When a parent’s rights are terminated then, for all intents and purposes, they are no longer a “parent” as far as the law is concerned. This means that they will have no legal or custodial rights to the child. They will not be able to enroll the child in school, to consent to medical care, and they will be unable to make any “legal” decisions regarding the youth. They will also have no right to contact with the child, let alone visitation. This is due to the fact that since they are no longer a parent, they have no more right to contact the child than any other citizen. No longer being a parent, however, also means that they have no obligation to support the child. This means that the surrendering parent does not have to pay child support, does not have to provide or help provide health insurance, etc. All of these effects combined should show both parents that the legal impact of a termination goes both ways.
It is important to understand that a termination will not automatically eliminate any obligations which have already accrued. If, for example, a parent is already in arrears on their child support, terminating their rights will not make those arrears go away. As we discussed in our last article, voluntary terminations in Florida are completed as part of an adoption by the other parent’s new spouse or other family member. As part of an agreement to terminate one’s rights, so an adoption can proceed, it is common for there to be an agreement that any child support arrearages will be waived. Such a waiver will allow the now-former parent to move with their life with no outstanding financial obligations.
If you are considering surrendering your parental rights then it is crucial that you gain legal advice before doing so. Likewise, if you wish for your child’s other parent to surrender their rights then you should speak with an attorney first. This is due to the fact that many a) are not fully aware of the legal implications which flow from a voluntary termination and b) many are unaware that the circumstances under which one can voluntarily terminate their rights are more limited in Florida than in other states.
I am a Melbourne parental termination lawyer who also assists with adoptions. I understand that this is a crucial decision in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We strive to provide a high level of service and we look forward to being of assistance. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.