Can I voluntarily terminate my parental rights?

Question: I cheated on my wife with a woman that I knew would be out to get me. Now this woman says that she is 3 months pregnant.

I told her that she should get an abortion. She refuses because she said that she wants to make my life a living hell. I have asked her on several occasions to do this but she refuses to because she wants me to leave my wife.

Is there anyway for me to voluntarily terminate my parental rights because I have been upfront and honest about not wanting her to have this baby, and I will not support her decisions or have a relationship with this child?

She lied to me and has been very deceptive with her plans of trying to get pregnant.

Answer:

I do not practice in Florida.  Therefore, you should contact a domestic litigation attorney licensed in Florida regarding your situation. Cordell & Cordell has many attorneys licensed and located in Florida who would be happy to meet with you.

Paternity and termination of parental rights laws vary from state to state.  In my state for example (Wisconsin), you could not just terminate your parental rights by signing a form or agreement as the State has an interest in ensuring that the child is supported by two parents; there are formal proceedings on the matter.  If you do not sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, she or the State could file a petition to establish paternity.  Once the Court determines you are the father, the Court will order support obligations regardless of whether or not you want to have a relationship with the child.

I do not know whether Florida has any laws which allow the Court to consider deceptive practices by the mother.  Therefore, you should discuss your case with a domestic litigation attorney in Florida right away.

 

Erica Christian is an Associate Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Wisconsin Bar Association, the Family Law Section and the Children’s Law Section.

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2 comments on “Can I voluntarily terminate my parental rights?

    My wife and I are divorcing after 12 years of marriage. She became pregnant the last two months we were together and had a son last November. I have moved on and having a baby with my girlfriend now. I am still legally married and paying court ordered child support for the baby born in November. I want nothing to do with that child or my soon to be ex wife. Can I request to terminate my parental rights? I’ll still pay child support but I want nothing to do with the baby. We live in Colorado.

    My child mother wanna take me off of child support in Florida what do we do? And will she keep her Medicaid?

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