There are times in life where you need to know what your rights are, and deciding to give you your rights as a parent may be one of those times. Regardless of why you may want to terminate your parental rights in Texas, there are some important legal aspects you need to consider before deciding. First, why would someone want to give up parental rights?
Not the biological parent
It is possible that you may discover that you are not the biological parent of the child. Obviously, this scenario applies most often to men, but it might also apply to a woman in the case of a ‘switched at birth’ situation.
Can’t afford child support payments
It is not uncommon that a non-custodial parent might be struggling to make child support payments to the custodial parent on behalf of the child. If the child has a good life with the custodial parent, it is possible the non-custodial parent might want to officially sign away parental rights to be relieved of the extra financial burden he or she has when responsible for child support payments in addition to typical living expenses.
A pregnant woman seeking adoption for her unborn child
Sometimes, an unmarried woman who is pregnant makes plans for an adoption of her child when he or she is born. She may choose to sign away her parental rights to make this process smoother even before the birth – or shortly thereafter.
It is important to remember that the father of the child has the same parental rights as the mother, and would also need to agree with this decision to place the child directly into an adopting family.
Why might someone wish not to give up their parental rights?
Love and/or obligation
Of course, most often, no parent wishes to give up the responsibility of parenting his or her child. Whether this is out of love for the child or from a feeling of obligation to provide for, protect and nurture the child, this is entirely natural and most typical.
In the case of an unmarried mother described above, the mother actually has a short period of time in which she may legally change her mind and resume her parental rights.
But even in the situation of a parent struggling to make ends meet while paying for child support, it’s important to realize that circumstances can change. Suppose that parent signs away parental rights, then wins the lottery a few weeks later. Might there be some regrets about giving up their rights?
More commonly, suppose he or she gets a new job, or a big raise at a current job, and suddenly would be able to easily make child support payments while still maintaining a good standard of living. Again, it’s likely he or she may be very remorseful about signing away parental rights at an earlier date.
Can I even give up my parental rights?
Maybe. Maybe not.
In Texas, a Family Law Court is likely to prefer that the existing parents remain the legal parents of the child. And they will strive to act in the best interest of the child, not simply according to the current desires of one or the other of the parents.
The state won’t want to remove parental rights from a parent simply for convenience. They will, however, remove parental rights forcibly in the event they determine it is in the best interest of the child to do so.
Family Law is often very complicated.
Here at Werner Law Group, we exist to help you think about the everything you’ll want to consider during a difficult decision like this. We will sit down with you, understand your specific needs and walk you through the legal process. We are here to support you in your most challenging time in the event you decide you want to pursue legal action.
Call or text us today at (361) 648.6888 to discuss your options. Let us help you make the right choice for you and your family.