Terminating Parental Rights To End Child Support


My ex-wife  violated my visitation rights by moving my daughter out of state six months ago. I haven’t seen her since and have barely talked to her. Is this grounds to terminate my parental rights and end child support payments?


I am not licensed to practice in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information concerning child custody and support.

I am working under the assumption that your decree of divorce is still in your state and no one has done the work to move it to the state that your ex-wife and daughter are living. If that is the case, your decree is enforceable in the courts in your state and not yet in the courts where your wife and daughter are.  Therefore, any action you choose to take will need to be done in your state.

Usually, you cannot terminate your parental rights just because you don’t want to pay child support anymore. If your ex-wife is willing to stipulate (agree) that you should be allowed to terminate your parental rights, you will have a better chance of being able to. I understand that you have extenuating circumstances in that you don’t want to pay child support for a child that you are not able to have a relationship with. Utah divorce lawyer

Another option would be to ask the courts in your state to enforce the decree of divorce. Most decrees should address what happens when one parent moves more than 150 miles from the other parent. If she did not abide by the terms of the decree prior to her relocation, she could be held in contempt. The court will not likely order her to return, but they can determine whether child custody should be changed and/or how parent-time should work now that the parents live further apart.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general child custody tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Utah divorce lawyer Dena L. Morgan, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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4 comments on “Terminating Parental Rights To End Child Support

    From NYC/LI area:
    Ok, so, now how does this work for guys LIKE ME, WHO NEVER MARRIED the child’s mother??? And, when is the child support obligation “officially terminated/vacated”??? I was told, when the child is 21yo, which my daughter is now!?!

    It won’t get you any respite
    Unless the child is adopted by another man, you will be on the hook for child support. The court may allow you to terminate your rights, but it won’t absolve you of your child support obligation. I would ask the court to hold her in contempt, and request that the child be returned to where you live. That will likely not happen, but its worth a shot. The contempt may be ruled against her though. You should then submit a new parenting plan that is now a long distance parenting plan. I would ask for the majority of summers, and 1/2 of winter break and every other spring break. I would also nail down some long weekend holidays that you can travel to her. Provide a phone for your daughter to use to communicate with you. That way you know it is paid for. Make sure the parenting plan allows you unrestricted access to call her. Look up your local/state family law guidelines. They usually have sample parenting plans and guidelines they want the courts to follow. That will be a good road map for you to figure out what to ask the court for that is likely to be approved.

    Clarification needed
    In your response, answer, you stated that the court would not likely order her to return, but…….Why wouldn’t the court order her back, at least the child? She moved out of state without a custody petition therefore probably violated the divorce decree. And would this be different if the father took the child out of state without contact with the childs mother.

    right to terminate parantage
    This should be a general remedy, as a matter of equity.
    If a parent is legally prevented from having a relationship with their child, the should have the right to terminate all rights and obligations with the child if they choose.

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