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Voluntary termination of child support

March 27, 2010 | Mark Spencer Williams | Child Support, Family Law | 10 Comments

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.

Disclaimer: Seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  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. Lindsay, I cloth diapered and only had to pay to wash the diapers every two to three days. I breastfed–one can pump even in a school or work setting–and baby food is not a necessity. I got a manual food mill for about $5 and simply cooked a very tiny bit more food than I would for myself. If you don’t make much or any money, WIC does cover the cost of a certain amount of formula and provides some food items for the child. In my case, the food was provided to me since we didn’t use formula.

    If it’s just you and your child, you can rent a one bedroom, so it’s no different than if it was just you renting. So there really is no extra cost in putting a roof over your child’s head. You chose to have a nursery, but it’s not a necessity. Children fare better when they’re closer to their parents.

    The only thing you would absolutely have to pay for is daycare since you’re in school, but I know someone who covers that cost for his child and pays $40 per week. The college I was looking into charged $2.55 per hour, and that was just a couple years ago.

    The cost of raising a baby doesn’t need to be high. The more changes you elect to make to what is natural, the more the price increases. Had it been just me and my child, my only child-related expenses would have been daycare and laundry which (together) wouldn’t have been even $200 per month. Maybe you just need to come back down to earth a little.

  5. My husband has not seen is 10yr old daughter in 5 yrs now. He and her mother(they were never married)split when she was about 2. The whole 8 yrs has been hell. Even when we were going through court there was always something being brought up to make things hard for him to see her. And with no set visitation orders, when the last orders time period was up she never showed to drop off their daughter for her weekend visit. She lives in another county, does not answer our calls, and does not return calls. If he were to show up at her house they would make a scene and cause him to be arrested. The last time she did spend the night they had told her(at 4yrs old) that the boogey man was in our house. Now she is asking he relinquish his rights(by text message)and with no response back she “texted” that she was ready to play nasty. He loves his daughter and has really hurt all this time for not seeing her but it is just a loosing battle and would just put the child in the middle of her evil games. He pays support and medical with no complaints. Does he even have a leg to stand on?

  6. Well, I’m dealing with a mother that wants to give up rights (FINALLY). My husband (her ex-husband) has raised her son since he was 2 as his own. He wants to live with us because his mom is a druggie/horrible. We raise him, we love and provide for him. I’m looking for a form that she can “easily” do what’s right. Child support out of her?? Yeah right. It’s not always the man that should pay child support.

  7. You have to do a step-parent adoption. There is not just a “form” you can use. There are multiple forms, a required DSS home study, a hearing, etc. You need a licensed attorney to help you with this.

  8. 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.

  9. Sir or Ma’am, my ex-wife and I divorced over a year ago. I have not seen my kids since then and almost never get to talk to them. I am very tired of feeling like an ATM and having no abilities to see or talk with my kids. My kids were very young when we divorced and do not even view me as a parent in their lives. I am at a point where I just want to waive my rights and stop my child support to her so I can just get on with my life and get out of something that I am not a part of other than sending money. Is this possible. Thank you for your guidance.


  10. In North Carolina, you can’t voluntarily waive your rights and stop paying child support. I suggest you seek a court order that allows you visitation with your kids. Speak with a licensed family law attorney as soon as possible.

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