Can a Parent Give Up Their Parental Rights After a Divorce in Texas?

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A common question our attorneys get about giving up parental rights comes in connection with a difficult divorce in which the other parent is trying to find ways to be excused from the obligation of providing child support. Here are a few insights into this issue.

What Happens When You Terminate Your Parental Rights in Texas?

Terminating your parental rights means you won’t have any legal rights or responsibilities towards your child, and will no longer be considered his or her parent. This is common when a child is being given up for adoption, but sometimes parents may want to relinquish their parental rights for other reasons.

Being unable to provide proper financial stability and a stable home are some of the most common explanations offered by parents. Courts are very cautious in granting these requests and will always decide in favor of what is best for the child.

Can You Be Exempted From Paying Child Support by Giving up Your Parental Rights?

Sometimes, one of the parents of a child resorts to requesting termination of parental rights for the sole purpose of getting rid of the obligation of paying child support following a divorce. As mentioned previously, parents requesting termination of their rights must present a solid set of reasons to convince the court that cutting off ties with the child would be in the child’s best interest.

Terminating financial support to the child is rarely seen as a positive thing, as it is in the child’s best interests to be supported by both parents. Even in the rare event that the court accepts the petition for termination of parental rights, the parent making the request will still owe child support arrearage even if future child support payments will stop accruing.

In Which Circumstances Can the Rights of a Parent Be Terminated Involuntarily?

In Texas, courts will only agree to strip someone of their parental rights if it is in the best interest of the child. This means that if allowing the child to continue in contact with that parent would mean extreme danger to the child’s mental, emotional or physical well-being, then government agencies such as DFPS may initiate a petition, but it will not be finalized until approved by the court.

What Are the Steps to Initiating a Petition to Terminate Your Parental Rights?

To give up your parental rights, you will need to petition the court for relinquishment, and the court will hold a trial to understand your reasons for giving up your rights. These cases can be complicated and consulting an attorney is highly recommended. If you have questions about giving up parental rights after a divorce in Texas, contact the attorneys at the ALP Law Firm today.