Signing over parental rights requires you to meet certain criteria.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
Signing over parental rights can be tricky. You need to make sure that the parent-child relationship is severed properly. Otherwise, the parenting giving up parental rights still has a legal responsibility to the child. This includes paying child support and having legal custody of the child.
To have an attorney properly sever the parent-child relationship, fill out the form below.
A parent can sign over their parental rights to a child.
Signing over parental rights severs the relationship between the child and the parent.
Relinquishment of parental rights is permanent.
You cannot reobtain parental rights after giving up parental rights.
Let’s look at some reasons a parent would sign over parental rights.
And reasons why the judge would terminate the parental rights of a child.
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
What are the reasons for signing over parental rights?
Some common reasons parents may want to sign over parental rights are:
You’re considering giving up your parental rights to your child.
But what does giving up parental rights entail?
Signing over parental rights means that:
A judge will not terminate a parent’s rights unless there is a very good reason.
Let’s talk about the reasons the courts will allow you to sign your parental rights away.
We listed reasons you may want to sign away parental rights above.
But let’s look at some more reasons judges allow parents to relinquish parental rights.
Some reasons a judge will change custody are if:
Even if these scenarios take place, signing away parental rights is hard.
A judge wants there to be two parents.
Whether that’s a biological parent or an adopted parent.
For this reason, signing over parental rights is hard to do.
Judges will usually only let you give up parental rights if someone is adopting your child.
Let’s talk about the sign-over parental rights forms you’ll need.
The form you need to sign over parental rights is the Voluntary Relinquishment Of Parental Rights Form.
In this, the forms you need to sign over parental rights are:
You can get your sign-over parental rights forms from a custody attorney.
They will charge you to draft all of the parental rights forms.
Or, you can buy fillable sign-over parental rights forms here.
Figuring out how to sign over parental rights is difficult.
The only way to sign over parental rights is when another person is adopting the child.
There are two ways to approach how to sign over parental rights.
You can file a Voluntary Relinquishment Of Parental Rights when:
When an adoption agency is involved, both parents have to give up their parental rights.
This is because the child is going to a new family.
But with step-parent adoption, only one parent has to give up parental rights.
But the parent giving up parental rights has to voluntarily give up their rights.
Voluntary relinquishment of parental rights means you lose rights to your child.
But you still have to pay child support if you sign your rights away.
Child support is still owed until a final order of adoption gets entered.
Signing over parental rights does not stop child support obligations.
Giving up your parental rights legally terminates the relationship.
But you still are obligated to pay child support even if you give up your parental rights.
The only thing that stops child support is if another person adopts your child.
For someone to adopt your child, you have to first sign over your parental rights.
Then, the other person can adopt your child.
The most common way to stop child support is step-parent adoption.
But it can also be another family adopting your child.
Let’s talk about how to give up parental rights and not pay child support.
Giving up parental rights is not something judges are in favor of.
Basically, judges only allow signing over parental rights if there is an adoption taking place.
The only way to give up parental rights and not pay child support is when an adoption occurs.
Yes, giving up your parental rights eliminates your relationship with the child.
But it does not end your child support obligation to the child.
If you sign your rights away, child support is still your responsibility.
Someone adopting your child is the only way to stop paying child support.
But judges usually won’t let you sign away parental rights without an adopting parent.
So, giving up parental rights usually means you don’t have to pay child support.
A father can sign his rights away and not pay child support.
But for the father to not pay child support, someone has to adopt the child.
When a father is the only one signing his rights away, it’s usually to a stepparent.
For a father to sign over his rights and not pay child support, two things need to happen.
A father can sign over his rights and not pay child support only when these two situations happen.
Yes, you still have to pay child support if you sign your rights away.
Signing your parental rights away terminates your relationship with the child.
But it does not terminate your obligation to pay child support.
Giving up parental rights is usually not allowed by judges.
A judge wants a child to have two parents to provide emotional and financial support.
Giving up parental rights to avoid child support is not allowed.
Giving up parental rights to avoid a child’s behavioral problems is not allowed.
Giving up parental rights is only allowed if:
You can sign over parental rights to a family member.
To do this, it will get treated as a normal adoption and not a step-parent adoption.
With a normal adoption, the child goes into a new family setting.
And both parents have to sign over parental rights.
With a step-parent adoption, the child remains in the home of one parent.
And only one parent has to sign over parental rights.
When you sign over parental rights to a family member, both parents are giving up parental rights.
Related: Temporary Guardianship Without Court
Signing over custody to a family member is not the same as signing over parental rights.
For example, let’s look at giving guardianship to the child’s grandparents.
In this case, the grandparents have custody, but the parents still have parental rights.
Guardianship vs custody can get confusing.
Guardianship means that the courts appoint someone other than the biological parents to care for a child.
Custody indicates a parent caring for their own child.
When signing over custody to a family member, you will still have parental rights.
Meaning that you still get to make major decisions in the child’s life.
This is true even though a family member is raising and caring for your child.
Let’s talk about how to sign over custody of a child to grandparents.
To sign over custody of a child to grandparents, both parents need to agree on this.
Most likely, you already have a child custody order.
To sign over custody to a grandparent, you have to modify your child custody orders.
But if you don’t have child custody orders, you’ll need to create a new child custody agreement.
Once everyone is on board, you’ll fill out and file the child custody agreement or modification.
File this at the local Superior Court in the county that the child lives in.
Once you file the petition, you’ll need to serve all parties involved with the petition.
This formally informs them that you have submitted a petition to sign over custody.
Then, the courts will schedule a hearing where the judge will listen to your case.
After that, the judge will issue new child custody orders.
And you will have signed over custody of your child to the grandparents.
Related: Guardianship vs Parental Rights
Signing over parental rights to the other parent can be achieved through adoption.
The other parent’s spouse can adopt a child via step-parent adoption.
Let’s talk about how to go about signing over parental rights to the other parent.
Either parent needs to file a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights.
Which court you need to file this petition depends on the situation.
To terminate parental rights, file the petition in a juvenile court.
To sign over parental rights for adoption, file the petition in the Superior Court.
Either court that you file the petition in needs to get filed in the county the child lives in.
A hearing will be scheduled within 90 days of filing the petition.
Here, the judge will determine if singing over parental rights to the other parent is allowed.
A mother signing over parental rights to a father is allowed.
Some reasons that a mother signing over parental rights are to allow the:
A mother signing over parental rights loses the right to receive updates about the adoption of their child.
If you sign over your parental rights, you cannot get them back.
When you sign over your parental rights, you are terminating those rights permanently.
There is no provision in family law for getting back parental rights after you sign them over.
The only way that you can get parental rights back after signing them over is if they were given away:
If you can prove these, then you can get your parental rights back.
But, most of the time, you cannot get your parental rights back.
You are able to sign over parental rights of an unborn child.
If you are not married, you already do not have parental rights.
When a child is born out of wedlock, the father has to establish paternity.
After establishing paternity, then he can get parental rights.
If the unmarried father has not gained parental rights, then he does not need to sign them over.
If a father is married, then signing over parental rights of an unborn child is tougher.
There will need to be another person to adopt the child.
This is true even if you’re married, but the child is not yours.
A child born to a married man, he is presumed to be the father.
And he has the responsibility of caring for the child and paying child support.
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