If my son’s biological father wants to give up his parental rightsso asto not have topay child support anymore, can he do this?

He hasn’t been in my sons life but he constantly keeps saying that he already has a family and has to pay child support for another child. His ex-wife is supposed to be paying him child support but doesn’t so he keeps stating that he is straining for money. His solution is to give up his rights to my son. I had heard that if a father wanted to do this just to get out of paying a judge could still make him pay?

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Family Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The actual process is called "termination" and it can be done voluntarily. Typically, extinguishing such rights relieves the parent requesting the termination of any obligation to their child going forward. However, courts do not take the relinquishment of parental rights lightly. The general standard used by a judge is for "good cause".  And filing merely to get out of paying support is typically not sufficient to obtain approval.  The fact is that courts do not generally allow termination in a situation where a child is being supported unless there is another source for support, such as someone stepping up to adopt the child and being legally be responsible for their care.  

Note: However, even if he can't give up his parental rights, he still may be able to file for a modifcation of the amount of support that he pays. 

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