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Rice Law Blog

Voluntary termination of child support

We frequently receive telephone calls from prospective clients who want to voluntarily terminate their parental rights. What they often really desire is a termination of their child support obligation. Simply put, this is generally not possible and against public policy.

An individual cannot voluntarily terminate their parental rights. In Re: Matter of Jurga, 123 N.C.App. 91, 472 S.E.2d 223 (1996). A Consent Order or other document to that effect is void as a matter of law. Neither one parent nor both may unilaterally terminate parental rights. There must be grounds and there must be a court hearing to determine whether it is in the best interests of the minor child(ren).

While an individual can voluntarily consent to the adoption of his or her children, an adoption is void if it was in consideration for money (e.g., cancellation of a child support obligation). Stanly County Dept. of Social Services ex rel. Dennis v. Reeder, 127 N.C.App. 723, 493 S.E.2d 70 (1997). A valid adoption will terminate the parent’s rights and no future child support will be due but any past due child support will continued to be owed for the benefit of the minor child.

6 Responses

  1. egloryriver@aol.com

    The main reason a father would even consider giving up his parent’s right is because the parent is up against the wall with no way to pay the court mandated child support. The court does not care that the parent can’t afford to pay and ends up with no money left to pay rent, utilities, and food to survive. If one gets a 2nd job, then the court will increase the child support payment and the parent ends up with less money to live on with an increase in court mandated child support. A father is always penalized for increasing his income trying to survive. The courts are not designed to benefit the minor child, but to destroy any father son relationships. Fathers who can’t pay end up abused in debtors prison until child support is paid in full. How is a parent to pay if in jail? Family court is biased against fathers. If child support payments were fair, more parents could afford to pay. NC courts doesn’t care if the father was faithful and a good father to his children. By the way, I have been married for 30 years and a woman. I never knew how unfair NC courts are until I have witnessed all the injustices. I know how hopeless it is, but instead of entertaining the idea of committing suicide, vote biased judges out of office, go after the courts and change the laws to be fair. Fathers out there who don’t believe me, read this, http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dss/cse/man/index.htm

  2. Michael

    Why are you telling a lawyer this, they know the bias in the courts. Have you never heard the saying “The only people who win in Family Court is the Lawyers”. Of course it’s biased. Lawyers get rich, the State of NC gets their federal incentive match payments, women get support/housing assistance/medical assistance/educational assistance. All the lobby groups are happy.

  3. lindsey

    Depending on the income of the parents, child support is far from a “get rich quick” sceme. I college $401. per month in child support. I have an infant in diapers, drinking formula, in daycare, eating baby food, and am now in a larger apartment so he has a nursery. Child support doesn’t even pay 1/2 of his expenses. I am happy to pay the other balances because he is my son, but I’m not living the good life because of $400 per month.

  4. Mark Spencer Williams

    If he is consistent in paying child support, I seriously doubt a court would terminate his parental rights. He can also file an action to get a set visitation schedule and if she causes problems, he can seek to hold her in contempt of court. He is not powerless….he can do something about this. Have him see a licensed attorney ASAP.

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