When a father surrenders custody, he terminates all legal ties with the child, and it is probable that he will no longer participate in the child’s life. The decision to relinquish parental rights comes with repercussions that must be accepted.
If you are contemplating giving up custody of your child, it is recommended that you seek advice from the child custody lawyers at Cammarata & De Meyer P.C. before finalizing your decision.
What does the phrase “termination of parental rights” mean?
If a father’s parental rights are terminated, it signifies the end of the legal connection between the parent and the child. If the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) decides to terminate rights, it is usually for both parents.
Termination of parental rights can happen in two ways:
- Voluntary termination: when the parent no longer desires to maintain the parent-child relationship.
- Involuntary termination: when a parent or the DFPS petitions the court to sever the parent-child relationship.
In both voluntary and involuntary termination, a court order is necessary to officially terminate the parent-child relationship.
What are the conditions under which parental rights can be terminated?
If a father decides to terminate the parent-child relationship voluntarily, he must complete an affidavit of voluntary relinquishment of parental rights. The father must wait 48 hours after the child’s birth before signing the affidavit.
The affidavit must contain the following details:
- The parent’s name, county of residence, and age, who is relinquishing parental rights.
- The child’s name, age, and date of birth.
- The names and addresses of the child’s legal guardians.
- A declaration that terminating the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interests.
- A statement that the parent is not obligated to pay child support.
Once the affidavit is signed, the decision is irreversible. The father will have permanently relinquished all legal rights to the child. Once the process is complete, the father will have no rights to visit or have access to the child, and the father’s name will be removed from the child’s birth certificate.
What is involuntary termination of parental rights?
Under New York law, a court may terminate a parent’s rights if it finds that:
- The parent has abandoned the child for six or more months.
- The parent has consistently failed to fulfill their parental duties for a period of at least one year.
- The parent has abused or neglected the child.
- The parent has been convicted of certain crimes, including murder, manslaughter, or sexual abuse of a child.
- The child has been in foster care for 15 of the most recent 22 months, and the court determines that termination is in the child’s best interests.
- The parent is unable to provide proper care for the child due to a mental or emotional illness, or a substance abuse problem.
It’s important to note that termination of parental rights is a serious matter and requires clear and convincing evidence of one or more of these grounds for termination. The court will also consider the best interests of the child in making its decision.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) will file a petition to terminate parental rights if they believe that it is in the best interest of the child. The court requires clear and convincing evidence to terminate parental rights. Both parents are given the opportunity to be heard, and the court will consider all relevant factors in determining the best interests of the child.
Is the father obligated to pay child support after giving up his parental rights?
Ending a parent-child relationship solely to avoid child support payments is not a valid reason for termination and is unlikely to be granted by a family law judge. In cases where a father voluntarily relinquishes parental rights, they will need to provide convincing evidence that termination is in the child’s best interest.
It is important to note that if parental rights are terminated, the parent’s obligations to the child also come to an end, including child support payments. However, it is generally not advisable to pursue termination of parental rights without first seeking the advice of a qualified attorney experienced in child custody cases.
If you are considering terminating your parental rights or have questions about child custody and support, it is recommended that you speak with a Cammarata & De Meyer P.C. child custody lawyer before taking any legal action.
Don’t hesitate to speak with a custody lawyer today.
Cammarata & De Meyer P.C. understands that making decisions regarding your child’s well-being is a serious matter. As a custody lawyer in your area, we prioritize the best interests of your child. Schedule a consultation with us today.