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Terminating Rights in Exchange for Waiving Child Support

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

 

To make a very long story short, my DS is 7 years-old and his dad was not involved in the first 4 years of his life.  I reached out to him and he began seeing him a little and moved out of the country continuing to see him periodically.  Two years ago I asked if he could provide some financial support for DS.  We could not agree on support so he told me to file in court.  I filed last fall for support, which we settled this past March.  He was very angry and it was a very ugly process.  This past April he then filed for custody and visitation, even though I always agreed to whatever access he requested.  Since April, an ugly court situation has become even uglier. 

 

Now his lawyer says he wants to relinquish his parental rights if in exhange I waive child support.   My goals going into court were to get some financial support for DS from his dad, and for his dad to continue seeing him and building their relationship.  While I would LOVE to get this man out of my life, I'm not sure I could look DS in the eye knowing I agreed for his dad to be out of his life forever.  And on the other hand, Ds' dad is so angry with me that if I decline maybe he'll go for maximum rights he can and then DS is in the hands of a man I know doesn't really care about him.

 

What would you do?  Thanks so much for any insight you can offer!

post #2 of 11

I would hope a court would not give him any rights since you raised him on your own for 7 years. Unless there are some underlying issues and you think you are at risk. What does your lawyer say?

Men don't like to pay support. The court will see that for his purpose behind wanting the child.

It s so hard mama. I went thru it for 3 years.... drug thru the mud.  xh has to pay support now and still see s the kids which i thought he would not but he does.

Anyhow I know I am not much help. Hugs.

post #3 of 11

If is father is willing to walk away a child to avoid support I think the child is better off without access to this "adult." I'd accept the termination in a heartbeat.

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

If is father is willing to walk away a child to avoid support I think the child is better off without access to this "adult." I'd accept the termination in a heartbeat.



This.  And, I've been there.  DD's father has no rights.  I don't get support (though the state refused to waive arrears) but she's really not missing anything in terms of not having a relationship with him.  She can work that out as an adult- when she's old enough to not be a victim. 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

If is father is willing to walk away a child to avoid support I think the child is better off without access to this "adult." I'd accept the termination in a heartbeat.



Exactly. I have an almost 8 year old, and the story is very similar to yours. Ex wasn't involved for the first 8 months, then started with very small visits (1 hour long). Just after ds's 2nd birthday, ex just stopped showing up for his visits. He wouldn't answer the phone, wouldn't call, nothing. This went on for years. About a year ago ex popped back in, very sporadically, and saw ds (supervised by me) for an hour here and there a couple times during the year. In April of this year we went to court, where he was "awarded" 1 weekend a month (approximately, sometimes there's 2 months between visits) for 4 hours on the Saturday and 4 hours on the Sunday (so about 8 hours a month). This has been really hard on my ds (who has autism and has NO IDEA who this man is).

 

If my ex suggested terminating his parental rights in exchange for no more child support, I would jump on that so fast it would make your head spin. Money comes and goes, and there's always an opportunity to make more money, but emotionally (or physically) harming a child is not so easily undone.

post #6 of 11

this is a man who is willing to "sell"you his child.  I would not hesitate to do anything in my power to cut him off forever.

post #7 of 11

I'd take his offer in a heartbeat. As it stands now, I'm raising two children alone without child support and on a very meager income (we're far below the poverty level), so I know how hard it is. As nice as it would be to have a little financial help, I wouldn't want someone in my children's lives who cares so little for them that he'd walk away to avoid providing for them, or that would vindictively attempt to uproot them. They deserve better than that. Your son deserves better than that, and you have nothing to feel guilty about. This man chose to walk away instead of being a parent and doing what that role entails. That's on him, not you. 

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

If is father is willing to walk away a child to avoid support I think the child is better off without access to this "adult." I'd accept the termination in a heartbeat.



 

I 100% agree with this statement above.  I would also add that it may not be as easy as him being willing to terminate his rights in exchange for your child not getting child support.  You have to check your state because each state has different laws.  In my state you can terminate without having someone else adopting your child but some states only terminate rights pending a currently open adoption case.  Also in my state 9California) you need to prove to the court (thru a very detailed screening) that you alone can financially care for the child without any support from the father AND you have to have grounds either abandonment, willful neglect (or possibly adoption) based on California standards for abandonment and willful neglect you would not qualify for either of those reasons.  So again I say go for the TPR (termination of parental rights) but realize it is quite a bit more involved than just his willingness
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

This.  And, I've been there.  DD's father has no rights.  I don't get support (though the state refused to waive arrears) but she's really not missing anything in terms of not having a relationship with him.  She can work that out as an adult- when she's old enough to not be a victim. 

 

I can relate to this I am researching and planning to file for a TPR in the next month or so.  Initially I felt that I would have to justify this to dd but I think it is the best protection I can give her.  Sole custody is just not enough :)

 

For my dd she is missing having a "dad" figure but since she has no relationship with her dad it is apparent she is missing the "dad figure"  and even IF her dad were in the picture is would not be healthy for her.  I too feel she can work out her feeling of him being absent or her desires to have a relationship when she is old enough to not be a victim.  And I want to be clear that if my dd was old enough to not be a victim and ASKED to contact him I would allow (maybe even help with) that but that would be up to dd & myself not some random strange judge.

 

post #9 of 11

Unfortunately, OP, this is not as simple as it might seem.  In the US, it is often VERY hard to have parental rights terminated, unless there is another adult that is willing to adopt the child (called a step-parent adoption). 

 

But, I wouldn't hesitate to use this against him in a custody hearing - he can't say he wants to terminate his rights AND say he wants full custody.  It just doesn't work that way.

post #10 of 11

just wanted to jump in on this conversation from a father's perspective. I myself have been beaten up ( emotionally ) and arrested. My crime ....... loving my sons very much. I visit with them every moment I can get them, i often ask for more time with them and get denied the opportunity. Recently the exW had me picked up on a warrant for " threatening her" the fact of the matter is she is very jealous of my new wife and cannot accept the fact that I have moved on. Every visit is a dramafest, she has turned the exchange of posession into a circus having 4-6 of her friends out with video cameras and such while running their mouths outside of hearing of the cameras and making rude gestures from behind the camera. This infuraites me , how is it in the best interest of the child to have this type of behavior and expect the child to not feel the anguish and anxiety that is exhibited from my body language? this has been ongoing for several months, I was fighting for custody of my son as his mother is very dirty and irresponsible. Her lawyer has been dragging the court and extending this to over a year now. Since i have been arrested I am starting to feel that although I love my children very much this just isn't worth dragging him to and fro for. He and I both have been pulled through the mud because of all of this and even now I am considering just washing my hands of it as she has just killed ( spiritually ) his Dad ( father ) . She does not know the damage she has done to he and i and she is just pushing me farther from him. I hear all the time about women who complain about the dads not wanting to be a part of their childrens lives but yet when you have a man who legitamately cares for his children and wants to be a part of it all , they push him away ?? your thoughts ??

post #11 of 11

Do you have the offer in writing?  If so, use it as evidence that your ex is only interested in custody and parenting time as retaliation for having to actually financially support his child and is just using the lawsuit to bully you into giving up the financial support.  That won't go over well for your ex.  Especially given that he isn't even in the same country. 

 

BTW, in the U.S. courts don't typially allow the termination of parental rights (or child support) unless there is a stepparent ready to adopt the child.  I would tell your ex no.  And if he moved to a country that is not a participant of the Hague convention (or the Middle East where women have no rights), I would cite that as a reason for all of his parenting time be done where the child lives.

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