Click here to get your FREE COVID-19 Parenting Time Guidelines!

Difference Between One Party Having Sole Custody & That Party Terminating Other Party's Parental Rights

Uncategorized Jul 08, 2017

In this video I want to talk about the difference between one party having sole custody or sole decision making over the children, and that party terminating the other party's parental rights. 

Let me tell you where this is coming from. Over the last couple of days I had a father come in to see me and he has spent a year long battle with his ex-wife over their children.

They fight like cats and dogs about everything and right now they are going through a custody battle and the father is just plain tired and ready to give up. He was considering just giving her all rights to the children. So, I need to clarify what he meant because when someone says to me that they want to give up all rights of their children then that potentially means having their rights as a parent terminated.

That is a big step. Having rights severed means that as a parent you will never again get to see your children. You won't have rights to parenting time or making decisions in your children's lives. Your rights are terminated and if somebody else comes along and wants to adopt the children. For example if your ex gets a new spouse and they want to adopt then that can happen.

In this particular case after I explained to the client that giving up all rights could potentially mean termination of his rights, he understood that is not what he wanted to do. What he wanted to do was just hand over custody rights and parenting time rights so that she would have all say over decision making and that he wouldn't even have parenting time.

The client was also under the false impression that if he did that, he would no longer have to pay child support. In a case where rights haven't been terminated, then I explained that at least in Arizona, that he would definitely have to pay child support even if wasn't seeing the kids or making decisions about them.

So either way he was going to have to pay child support so he had to make the decision whether he was going to pay child support and not have any involvement in the kid's lives. Or pay child support and try to be involved.

As a side note to that, if you're considering terminating your parental rights or terminating the other parent's rights, you really need to check with the laws in your state and jurisdiction to find out if termination of parental rights means that the obligation to child support is stopped.

So like I said, in Arizona a person is not off the hook for paying child support if they agree to termination of their parental rights unless another party comes along and adopts the children. Before you go around throwing around the words that you want to just give up your rights, have a clear understanding of exactly what that means for you AND your children.