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 legal implications of a parental termination. It is important to understand that when someone voluntarily gives up parentage then they will have no right to make decisions regarding the child. They will also have no rights in regard to visitation. Conversely, the individual will not be obligated to support the child in any way. It is best to discuss your situation with an attorney in order to understand how such a decision may affect you. In this article I will discuss voluntarily giving up one’s rights so that another individual may adopt the child. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a family law lawyer.
Florida differs from many other states in that the situations in which one may voluntarily terminate their rights are more limited. Typically, voluntary terminations are reserved for when a parent’s new significant other, or some other relative, will be adopting the child. In other words, Florida will typically only allow a voluntary termination in situations where the child will continue to have two legal parents. The primary reason for this policy is that the state of Florida does not want to risk a situation where an individual has been “let off the hook” in regards to their obligations and the other parent is then required to go on social assistance.
When the parent of a child wishes for their new significant other to adopt the child, and the other parent is in agreement, then the process can be straightforward. This will typically involve all parties signing the relevant paperwork and the Court holding a brief hearing. Once the process has been completed, the Judge will sign an Order stating that the rights of the surrendering parent are terminated and that the adoptive parent has joint legal and physical custody of the child. If there was an agreement between the surrendering parent, and their counterpart, that any child support arrearages would be waived then such will be included in the Order as well.
While the process of going through with a voluntary termination and adoption may sound simple, there can be many complications. Failing to appropriately complete your Petition can result in the Court requiring that you amend it. Also, gaining an agreement for a voluntary termination can often require back and forth negotiations. An experienced attorney can assist you in ensuring that your matter is handled properly.
I am a Melbourne parental termination lawyer who also assists with adoptions. My office understands that this is an important time 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 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.